Attention holiday shoppers and diners! Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced recently that all historic Ellicott City parking lots will be free now until Jan. 1. This means that the downtown district's parking lots B, C and E are free, in addition to lots A, D and F that are unmetered year round.

"Their decision to once again make parking free is great news; free parking impacts Historic Ellicott City's local merchants, businesses and the patrons that support them," said Andy Hall, president of Ellicott City Historic District Partnership.


Metered parking will still be in effect on Main Street and Maryland Avenue, as well as the two-hour limit for parking on Main Street.

The county's Parker app is another free service that directs motorists in real time to open parking spots in the historic district. Download the app by scanning QR codes on the multi-space meter signs in downtown or by visiting Google Play or the iTunes Store.

"We hope to encourage shoppers to 'think locally' this holiday season," Ulman said.

For more information, go to http://www.howardcountymd.gov/ecparking.htm.

Mt. Hebron Presbyterian Church will host a free holiday concert  "Sounds of the Season!" featuring the Mt. Hebron High School Band, Orchestra and Chamber Choir on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m., in the church sanctuary. The 45-minute program of carols and small ensemble selections will be followed by a holiday reception in historic Hebron House.

A goodwill offering will benefit the "Grow Our Grand" piano fund.  For more information, call 410-465-3993 or go to http://www.mthebronpc.org.

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks recently announced its deer reduction fall/winter program that includes eight Ellicott City public parks or open spaces.  In total, 12 county parks or spaces will be closed to the public on select days and times to conduct the sharpshooting program. The operation is designed to help maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population on county lands where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity.

Specially trained and qualified personnel using highly accurate, noise-suppressed rifles, remove deer under a special permit issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  All the meat from this operation is donated to charitable organizations in the area.

The fall/winter deer reduction program will conducted on the following days from 3:30 p.m. to midnight: Centennial Park, Jan. 13 and Feb. 10 and 27; Daniel's Mill Overlook, Jan. 6 and Feb. 24; Governor's Run Open Space, Feb. 3 and 17 and March 6; Gray Rock Open Space, Jan. 13 and Feb. 10 and 27; Hollifield Farm, Jan. 6 and Feb. 24; Meadowbrook Park, Dec. 16 and 23; Mount Hebron Open Space, Jan. 6 and Feb. 24; and Worthington Park, Dec. 12, Feb. 3 and 17 and March 6

The Department of Recreation and Parks and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service have deer management experts available to speak to homeowner associations, schools or other groups. For more information go to  www.howardcountymd.gov/deermanagement.htm or call 410-313-1675.