Okay, what does Ellicott City have in common with Halifax, Nova Scotia; Joplin, Mo.; Flint, Mich.; Greeley, Colo.; and Martinez, Calif? That's right — we are part of that lucky band of 20 Main Streets about to get a makeover.

Yippee! We did it. We all pulled together and voted early and often and so our historic district Main Street has won inclusion in Benjamin Moore's Main Street Matters contest winners.


Over the next year, expect our town to get a serious beautification, thanks to this contest. Everyone's effort was important to this challenge, but one of my favorite promotions was the YouTube video featuring our county executive, Ken Ulman, county Councilwoman Courtney Watson, tourism's Ed Lilley and Brad Pitt.

See, they heard that Halifax had lured Brad Pitt there to help promote their bid to win, so we did the same. Well, anyway, it sort of looked like Brad from the back, and I'm sure he would have been here if he could.

More Painting

Recently, artists gathered on Main Street to participate in another plein air experience, "Paint it! Ellicott City 2013." The results of this are on exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts through Aug. 23.

Wiley Purkey has opened a new exhibit called "Inside the Studio" at the Perspectives Art Gallery through Sept. 29. The Gallery is set up like a working artist's studio and Wiley himself will be there painting every Saturday. The Gallery, at 8191 Main St., is open Wednesday through Sunday. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute. Contact the Gallery at 410-461-7763.

Ellicott City Flea

Every third Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Antique Depot is holding a flea market in the parking lot next to their building at 3720 Maryland Ave,, across from the Railroad Station Museum. They promise everything from "funky to junky." Sounds like fun.

Movies at the Bin

The summer movie series continues outdoors at the Wine Bin every Saturday night at 9 p.m. They are showing "Life of Pi" on July 20 and "Some Like it Hot" on July 27. Bring a picnic and some folding chairs and get your bottled water and popcorn there. A portion of the proceeds benefits Voices for Children.

Restaurant Weeks

Howard County Farm-2-Table Restaurant Weeks, showcasing locally sourced ingredients, is in full swing through Aug. 5. Historic district participating restaurants include Portalli's and Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant. Each offers a special menu at special prices and the best of summer's bounty.


Don't forget to submit your favorite recipe to the Howard County Historical Society for inclusion in its 50th anniversary cookbook. The society is collecting recipes until the end of August, but submit today so you don't forget. Find the form at their website, http://www.hchsmd.org.



The ghost tours continue in the historic district all summer long on Friday and Saturday nights. Officially called "Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City," these tours are always a lot of fun, and take place after the sun goes down when it's a lot cooler and the thunderstorms are usually over for the day. Reservations are recommended, so call 410-313-1900. Try to get on the one Brad and Angie are taking. (Ha.)

Enchanted Forest

I'd like to thank everyone who shared photos and stories of the Enchanted Forest for the upcoming book. My writing partner, Martha Clark, and I really enjoyed the experience and learned so many things about how this wonderful park was a part of so many people's lives. We expect the book to be available in mid-August.