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Evening in the Stacks features local chef John Shields [Mostly Main Street]

Our award-winning Howard County Library is celebrating its annual Evening in the Stacks on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 11 p.m. This is the library's premier event each year and attracts about 600 people. This year's event is called the Black-eyed Susan Ball and features celebrity chef John Shields and the 25th anniversary edition of his book, "Chesapeake Bay Cooking." Shields will offer a cooking demonstration and will be signing copies of his book. I have been a fan of his since the book first came out 25 years ago, and I believe that the "Gertie's crab cakes" he serves at Gertrude's, his restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art, are some of the best. The food to be served at the event sounds like a list of iconic Baltimore food —oysters, Lombard Street corned beef and Flower Mart lemons with peppermint sticks — are among the offerings. The music will be provided by Junkyard Saints, and a silent auction is also included in the fun. Tickets are $140 each and can be purchased on the Library's website, www.hclibrary.org.

The Howard County Historical Society's next "Lunch date with history" will be on Friday, March 4, at the museum on Court Avenue. The title is "In Carrie's Footprints — the long walk of Warren Dorsey," offered by Warren Dorsey and Jack McBride White. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., the lecture is at noon and optional museum tours will be held at 1 p.m. Bring your own lunch, beverages and treats will be provided. The event is free to society members and $5 for non-members. Call 410-480-3250 or visit www.hchsmd.org/events.

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The Judge's Bench's next jazz jam is scheduled for Tuesday evening, March 1. You are welcome to come listen or participate. Call 410-465-3497 for more information. I have never really thought about how the bar came to have its name, but according to the website, back in the 1800s the site was a grocery store and the courthouse was the small stone building across the street, behind the log cabin, that is now the Heritage Orientation Center. Of course back then the courthouse wasn't air-conditioned so the judges would come across the street and sit on the shaded bench outside the store and drink cold beverages to cool off. Great story, right?

The Still Life Gallery, 8173 Main St., is holding a wine and cheese reception on Sunday, Feb. 28, in honor of the five artists participating in the exhibit "The Nude—an exploration," including paintings, drawings and sculpture. The reception is from 4 to 7 p.m. with an art talk and Q and A with artist Rick Casali who will talk about sculpting and casting the human face and figure at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit continues through April 24. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It can be reached at 410-461-1616.

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The caboose at the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, needs renovation. Built in 1927, the caboose was a gift to Historic Ellicott City Inc., who ran the station at the time, from the Chessie System, now CSX. It arrived in Ellicott City on Feb. 14, 1974, and has been a delightful attraction ever since. The Leyh family did the original restoration, changing the color from yellow to red. It was again fully restored by HEC Inc. in 2002. Now it is in need of restoration again. Call the museum, at 410-461-1945 to see how you can contribute.

Banneker Park on Oella Avenue has a variety of programs scheduled for adults and children over the next few weeks. They are offering a moss workshop on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. and an after-school explorer series for ages 6 to 9 on Wednesdays, starting on March 2. Nature, Mom and Me, for kids ages 3 to 5 with an adult, will be on Thursdays, starting March 3. You can make a Williamsburg basket on Saturday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This class is suitable for adults and for children over age 10. To register for any of these programs call 410-887-1081.

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