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St. Patrick's Day is just a few days off, and I am sure that you will agree with me when I say the nicest green thing I've seen lately is the grass! I guess all of that snow kept the lawns watered and they are greener than they have any right to be at this time of year. Certainly something to celebrate. Something even more joyous to me is the fact that daylight savings time starts on March 13. Can firing up the grill be far behind? For St. Patrick's Day, usually the Phoenix Emporium and the Judge's Bench vie for having the best party, but if you want to sample a few bars and hear some great stories at the same time, sign up for the Spirits of Ellicott City Ghost Tour, on March 17. Meet at the Welcome Center at 8267 Main St. at 8 p.m. and enjoy a stroll through town with stops at various haunted venues. The cost is $20, $18 for seniors and active military personnel. Call 1-800-288-8747 for information.

Robin Holliday, owner and curator of the HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, announced the opening reception for the latest exhibit in the gallery, called "Adventures in Color." The reception will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. and features watercolors, alcohol on ink and oil paintings by Yolanda Koh and Andrea Sauer. The show runs through March 24. The Gallery is at 8090 Main St., open Wednesday through Sunday. For more information call 410-461-3505.

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The Howard County Center for the Arts is holding its 19th annual "Celebration of the Arts Gala" on Saturday, March 19. The fundraiser will be held at Howard Community College starting at 6 p.m. and features a "Rising Star" competition as well as honoring people and businesses that make significant contributions to the arts in Howard County. Tickets range from $50 to $100 and can be purchases at its website, www.hocoarts.org.

The Howard County Historical Society's museum concert series is featuring "The Dialogue—a night of Russian romance music" on Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m. This event is described as a dialogue between singer and guitarist, narrator and audience, poetry and music, with Peter Slutsky singing the music of 19th and 20th century Russia, Anna Kusner as classic guitarist and Nonna Kaer-Slutsky as narrator. The performance will be at the Society's Museum, 8328 Court Ave.. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. You are welcome to bring a beverage to enjoy. If you purchase wine at the Wine Bin the day of the event you can receive a 10 percent discount. The Society is also looking for volunteers to help with similar events. For tickets or to volunteer, call 410-480-3250 or email info@hchsmd.org.

The Patapsco Heritage Greenway is sponsoring a stream watcher training program on Saturday, March 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Miller Library. This is a wonderful way to give back to the community by volunteering to monitor, protect and preserve the streams and rivers in the Patapsco Valley. You can work to protect our environment by being a cleaner — one who picks up trash along a portion of a waterway; a walker — one who monitors a section and reports any problems; or a watcher — one who cleans and walks. To learn more, call Betsy McMillion at 410-480-0824 or email PatapscoFriend@gmail.com. The training is free.

Registration is now open for the annual Hills of Milltown 5K, which is run through the historic district and benefits beautification projects in the district as well as the Blossoms of Hope in support of the Claudia Meyer and Tina Broccolino Cancer Research Center at Howard County General Hospital. The race is on Mother's Day, May 8. Register on line at www.ACTIVE.com.

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