Starting Friday, Main Street in Ellicott City will be the setting for the fourth annual Millfest, an amalgam of arts and crafts, history and conspicuous consumption that will take place between the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and the George Howard Building on the Baltimore Countyside of the Patapsco River.

The weekend festival, presented by the Ellicott City Business Association, will kick off at 6 Friday evening with Millfest Madness. Shops along Main Street will stay open until midnight in the derivative of the holiday shopping event Midnight Madness that takes place in early December.

That same night, WBAL talk show host Alan Prell will make an appearance from 8 to 10 at Ellicott Square, adjacent to Leidig's Bakery.

On the Rise will provide musical entertainment in front of the Ellicott City Railroad Museum and Juke Box Bill in PJ's parking lot.

On Saturday and Sunday the festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. An estimated 60 Millfest artisans will attend, including shoemakers, blacksmiths and carpenters. Some will demonstrate their artistry, others will sell their work.

Confederate and Union troop encampments will be re-enacted near the Merryman Log Cabin, and Jim Roane, a Susquehannock Indian, will offer historical interpretations on Native Americans. The 1812 Aisquith's Sharpshooters will camp at the same location.

Historical exhibits on Ellicott City's mills, floods and streetcars will be featured at the Ellicott City Railroad Museum. Walking tours of Ellicott City also will be offered. The 45-minute tours willcost $4.

To reserve space in the tours call 465-3695 or 465-4725.

On Saturday only, the Howard County Historical Society will conduct an antique firearm exhibit next to the courthouse along Court Avenue.

The Waiter's Mill Race, a test of endurance and balance, will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday near the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin and finish near the Ellicott City Museum. Waiters from local restaurants will run with trays and pick up objects at several stops.

Because of the race, Main Street will be closed to traffic from 2 to 4 p.m.

During festival hours, a free shuttle bus will run from the George Howard Building to the courthouse on Court Avenue.

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