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Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day fill Main Street events [Mostly Main Street]

The next time you visit Main Street, take a minute to notice the new street lights. BG&E has been replacing the modern lights with ones in keeping with the historic look of the town. They are very nice.

Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day this year, so we have a lot to celebrate—hearts and flowers combined with the festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras. The celebration starts in the historic district on Saturday, Feb. 10 with Mardi Gras on Main Street. This is a family-oriented day of fun that features a scavenger hunt along Main Street from noon to 4 p.m. Stop by the Howard County Welcome Center at 8267 Main St. and pick up the map that will lead you to hidden Mardi Gras masks in shops throughout town. Find enough and win beads and prizes. Stop for a meal at restaurants featuring New Orleans-inspired food and don’t miss Boogaloo at the Bin, a free, family-friendly New Orleans-style celebration at the Wine Bin from 2 to 10 p.m. It will be setting up a heated tent in its parking lot and feature music, beer, coffee drinks and New Orleans-style food, including a gumbo cook-off. Portalli’s restaurant folk will be shucking oysters in parking lot D by the Little French Market from 1 p.m. until they sell out.

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Also on Feb. 10, from 8 to 11 p.m., you can look for ghosts at the B&O Ellicott City Station Museum. Ghostly guides will lead you on a history tour of the building and then supply you with ghost-hunting gear so you can detect supernatural activity on your own. The cost is $35, and bottled water and snacks will be provided. Call them at 410-313-1945 for reservations.

Also that night, at the Howard County Historical Society’s Museum of Howard County History on Court Avenue, you can get into the Valentine’s Day spirit with “P.S., I love you,” a romantic evening of letters and writings from the heart of historic figures connected to Ellicott City. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12. To reserve call 410-303-2939 or go to MDHistoryTours.com.

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On Feb. 11, the HorseSpirit Arts Gallery at 8090 Main St. is hosting a Meet the Artist event, introducing Alison Leigh Menke, a fine-art plein air painter, at the gallery from 1 to 3 p.m. Some of the other 45 artists represented by the gallery will also be in attendance and beverages and dessert will be offered. Call 410-461-3505 for more information.

On Feb. 17, the B&O Museum is hosting Ed Gantt of the 23rd Regiment U.S. Colored Troops who will share information on the contributions of the U.S. Colored Troops to the Civil War. Items related to the African Americans of Howard County who served in the USCT in the Civil War, including Congressional Medal of Honor winner Decatur Dorsey, will be on display. The museum is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant is featuring a special Chef’s Tasting Menu on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Four courses are $80. And if you want sweets for your sweetie, you should head to Sweet Cascades, at 8197 Main St. The handmade chocolates are wonderful. To make your Valentine’s Day truly memorable, make reservations at the romantic Wayside Inn, a bed and breakfast on Columbia Road just a few minutes from the historic district. It combines over 200 years of Ellicott City history with every modern amenity, including a multi-course breakfast. You can get away without going away. Call410-461-4636 for reservations.

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