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Bid fond adieu to Shanty Grille, closing Dec. 31 [Mostly Main Street]

Most recently renamed Shanty Grille, but still called Crab Shanty by most of us, this backbone of the Howard County restaurant community is closing on Dec. 31.

They have, since their opening in 1978 at this location, had the best crab cake in the county, and all menu items crab-related have been similarly stellar.

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And it wasn't just about the food. They have had the best Christmas decorations of any restaurant I've ever been to. Everyone loved the little model train that made its way around the dining room, and of course you know about the sled from Bing Crosby's movie "White Christmas" that was part of the décor year-round.

The good news is that their carry-out, Sea King, will continue to operate across the street and some of the restaurant's menu items will be available there. So, let's all patronize that and keep it open for many years to come. Thanks to the King family, who in addition to running these businesses has always been supportive of local tourism and community involvement.

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Boy, I haven't felt like this since Haussner's closed in 1999.

Farmers Market

The Old Town Farmers Market will be finishing the season on Nov. 8. It's held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Parking Lot D behind the old post office, and in the lot next to The Wine Bin.

At this time of year they have lots of pumpkins and winter squash and apples in every form, including cinnamon apple pizza.

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Halloween

I know the bags of "fun sized" candy have been on display in the grocery store since August, but it still seems that Halloween has snuck up on us this year. One of the nicest traditions around here is the annual Trick or Treat on Main Street, which will be held on Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring the kids and enjoy the welcoming family atmosphere as merchants along the street share treats.

If you really want to get scared this season, you need to participate in "Dead of Night at the Museum," sponsored by the Howard County Historical Society at their Museum on Court Avenue. This event will be held from 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, to 5 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.

The society is partnering with the Dead of Night Paranormal Investigators for this event, held in what could be the most haunted building in the Historic District. Maybe they can pin down the source of those mysterious footsteps, strange smells and unusual sounds. Be there and be scared! Tickets are $35 and can be purchased on line at http://www.hchsmd.org.

The following week, on Nov. 1, the Historical Society is featuring Steampunk at the Museum, a "Danse Macabre" musical theater event showcasing a unique musical mélange. Costumes are encouraged and will be judged for prizes. Tickets are $15 single, $25 per couple. Get more information at http://www.hchsmd.org.

Over at Benjamin Banneker Park in Oella, they are telling "Eerie, scary campfire stories" on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Once the stories are told they are serving up s'mores. This is $4 for members, $6 for non-members.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, they are featuring "All Things Apple." This includes activities, cooking and crafting. This is also $4 for members and $6 for non-members. To register for either of these programs, call 410-887-7081.

Show House

Historic Ellicott City Inc.'s Decorator Show House has closed, so now it's time to pick up your purchases. If you bought anything in the house, pick it up at Meriwether Farm on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It always amazes me how many people buy things and forget to come back for them.

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