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Little trains, big fun at B&O Railroad Museum [Ellicott City]

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station is hosting its annual holiday celebration of toy trains and model railroading now through Sunday, Jan. 25. The holiday display includes a miniature Thomas the Tank Engine G-scale model layout, multi-level 360 degree LEGO layout designed by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area LEGO and a brand new custom-built, multi-level O-scale model train layout.

The holiday exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although the museum is closed on holidays, it will be open New Year's Eve, Monday, Dec. 29, and Tuesday, Dec. 30.

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Admission to museum, which includes the festival of trains exhibit, is free for B&O members. Non-member admission fees are adults $8, 60+ seniors $7 and children ages 2 to 12 $6.

Receive 50 percent off admissions prices when you bring a new, unwrapped LEGO's toy, three or more canned goods or non-perishable food items or new, unwrapped book through Dec. 21. Only new donated items will be accepted for discounted admission.

Go to http://www.ecborail.org or call 410-461-1945 to learn more about theB&ORailroad Museum Ellicott City Station, the oldest surviving railroad station in America, and its holiday train garden.

The Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services is also hosting a holiday train garden — it's 17th annual open house and holiday train garden at the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department, Station No. 2 at 4150 Montgomery Road. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

The event is open now through Sunday, Jan. 4, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve (open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Christmas Day (closed), and New Year's Eve and Day (11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.).

Through Dec. 22, the fire station welcomes donations of new, unwrapped toys for needy children. Toys can be dropped off at the train garden or any Howard County Fire Station. To schedule a group tour or for more information, call the Community Outreach Hotline at 410-313-2036.

It's true. Santa Claus is coming to town before the big day. Direct from the North Pole, Santa is making special neighborhood visits with the help of his friends at the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department. While he's already visited a few Ellicott City neighborhoods, he's promised to come back to town for a couple more stops.

Santa will ride through neighborhoods courtesy of the Ellicott City fire trucks complete with lights and sirens. Look for Santa,beginning around 6 to 9 p.m., in the following neighborhood:

Monday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m., Hollifield Station including Orchard Ave, Chapel and Old Frederick Road by Patapsco Middle; 7 p.m., Normandy Woods including Church Lane Drive, and streets between High Ridge and Route 40, Oak Green Circle and Governors Run

Tuesday, Dec. 16, Greenway, Valley Meade, Cypressmeade, Michaels Way, Joey Drive. All major streets off of Greenway and Michaels between Route 40 and St. Johns.

Wednesday, Dec. 17, Turf Valley area including Pebble Beach and Boones Lane. Santa Stop at Pro Shop Parking Lot, WoodStream Court.

Thursday, Dec. 18, Waverly Development, all streets attached to Dorchester and Wetherburn roads and Green Clover Area.

Friday, Dec. 19, Illchester.

Saturday, Dec. 20, Font Hill Community, Whittworth, Fairways including Globe, Tuscany, and Coventry, Burnside Drive and Breconshire Road area.

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Sunday, Dec. 21, Taylor Village, Worthington Development including Hale Haven, Doncaster, Chews Vineyard, Academy, Round Hill, Orchard, and Stone Hill Drive.

For up-to-date Santa information, go to http://www.ellicottcityvfa.com.

Enjoy a Christmas Concert at the Shrine of St. Anthony, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Scripture, Poetry, Art Songs, and Carols" on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 7 to 9 p.m., including a wine, cheese and dessert reception after the show.

The holiday concert in the Shrine Chapel features soprano Alina Kozinska, who has performed throughout Europe and at major world events, including the Papal Mass of Pope John Paul II in Baltimore, along with other talented, award winning performers.

Seating, on a first-come-first-served basis, is limited. Registration is required. Tickets ($20 per person) can be purchased online at http://www.shrineofstanthony.org/event or in the Shrine office. Proceeds benefit the Shrine of St. Anthony. If available, tickets ($25) will be offered at the door.

For more information, contact the Shrine office at 410-531-2800 or info@shrineofstanthony.org.

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