Shoppers searching for gifts in historic Ellicott City will have one less hassle to worry about this holiday season: the town's parking lots are free from Black Friday until Jan. 1, according to county officials.
The parking meter amnesty will apply to lots B (past the bridge over Main Street and to the left), C (on Maryland Avenue) and E (behind Ellicott Mills Brewing Co.). Fees for those lots are usually 50 cents per hour.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said he hoped the free parking in lots would encourage holiday shopping in the historic district. "We want to make it fun and easy for visitors to come and see all that this great community has to offer," he said in a statement.
Metered parking along Main Street and Maryland Avenue will continue to be enforced during the holiday season, to encourage turnover of the town's most convenient spots. Street parking costs $1 per hour.
Parking meters are enforced between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week, according to the county.
"We appreciate the free parking in lots, and think we will strike the right parking balance to ensure a successful holiday season," Debra Korb, executive director of the Ellicott City Partnership said in a statement.