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Midnight Madness a night of socializing and fun [Mostly Main Street]

The holidays are all about tradition, and one of the best in the Historic District is our beloved Midnight Madness. Believe it or not, this event has been held on the first Friday of December since the 1970s.

Every year the attractions grow, as do the crowds. So, on Dec. 5, make your way down Main Street and join in the fun. Santa's workshop will be operating outside the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, and kids can visit him that day from 4 to 9 p.m. There also will be a special mailbox where kids can mail their letters to Santa.

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After you visit Santa, bring the kids to the Tourism Office in the old Post Office to see the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Then, drop the kids off at the Roger Carter Center, which is offering a "Parents Night Out" from 6 to 10 p.m. The kids, aged 5 to 14, can enjoy rock climbing, crafts, popcorn and a movie, for a modest fee of $15 for members, $20 for non-members.

The parents can then enjoy shopping and socializing on Main Street on their own. Isn't that a great idea?

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Holiday Mart

Another great Howard County tradition is the annual Holiday Mart, to be held this year at the Gary Arthur Community Center in Glenwood on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event offers so many wonderful hand-crafted items and original art works. Again this year, I will be there from 1 p.m. until closing with co-authors Vickie Goeller and Martha Clark and we will be signing our "Remembering Ellicott City" and "Enchanted Forest" books.

Fred Dorsey, president of Preservation Howard County, organizes the authors' table every year and does a great job. Some of the other authors represented include Anne Shoenhut and her "Downtown Brown" children's' book, Dan Toomey and his Civil War history books and Lee Preston with his archeology book.

All are worthy additions to your library and, of course, make great gifts. Hope to see you there.

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Holiday House Tour

The Howard County Historical Society's popular Holiday House tour is set for Dec. 14. Buses leave the Miller Library parking lot at 1 p.m. This year's tour covers a group of historic homes in Elkridge.

Tickets are $40 for members, $50 for guests of members and $60 for individuals, which includes a one-year membership in the society. A $10 snack pack will be available for advance purchase, and water and wine will be available to purchase on the buses, which have bathrooms.

To reserve your seat, go to http://www.hchsmd.org or call 410-480-3250. The society is also selling their hot-off -the -press 50th anniversary edition cookbook, filled with local treasures. This is another fine choice for holiday giving. Check the website for ordering information, or drop by their space in the Miller Library to pick one up.

Tastings

The Wine Bin is sponsoring two bourbon and scotch tastings, on Dec. 4 and 11, both at 7 p.m. The events will be held at Fireside Stone and Patio, just across the bridge near the mill on Frederick Road. The cost is $30 and space is limited. To make a reservation, call 410-465-7802.

Winter Market

The Farmers Market may be done for the season, but Nathan Sowers will still be offering bread and pizza at the Winter Market behind the Little French Market Café on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We recently bought pizzas fresh from the wood-fired oven from Nathan to celebrate my son Rob's birthday. We bought them early in the day and gently reheated them at dinner time. Rob declared the pizza the best he has ever tasted and I'd have to agree. They are well worth the trip.

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