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'Nutcracker' on ice is one of season's hottest tickets


The Columbia Figure Skating Club is holding its Sixth Annual Holiday Ice Show on Sunday and on Dec. 19, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia Ice Rink on Thunderhill Road.

The club invites you to come and enjoy its adaptation of "The Nutcracker," a well-loved holiday tale featuring the entire troupe of 60 skaters in the familiar roles of Clara, Uncle Drosselmeir, the Mouse King, the Handsome Prince and, of course, the Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy.

Two Ellicott City children are playing key roles in the show.

Tracey Tyson, a graduate of Ellicott Mills Middle School who has since moved to Delaware, will be performing as the Snow Queen, and Michael Habib, an eighth-grader at Burleigh Manor Middle, will be skating as the Nutcracker.

Additional Ellicott City children will perform, including Allison Barber, Katie Hlubb, Brenna Loury, Caitlin Ring, Melissa Ring, Nikki Seegmuller, Meghan Smith, Ram Srinivasan, Brittany Surkovich, Daniele Surkovich, Ashley Virtue, Cori Wetherald and Alicia Williams.

Ellicott City resident Linda Crawford also skates in the show, as well as acting as technical show director. Her husband, Dave Crawford, assists her in "teching."

Tickets for the performance are $4, and may be purchased at the Columbia Ice Rink. The show has been sold out for the past 4 years, so be sure to arrive early to find a good seat.

And be sure to dress warmly, as you will be sitting in an ice rink. Corduroys, winter coat and mittens would keep you comfortable.


This Sunday, Trinity Episcopal Church in Elkridge will have two causes for celebration: the ministry of the new rector, the Rev. John Steiner, and the completion of the renovation project in the rectory.

Mr. Steiner will now call Howard County his home, having moved Thursday from his home in Ruxton to the newly-refurbished rectory near the church.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, a service will be held to formally bless the rectory. Then, at 6 p.m., the Right Rev. Charles L. Longest, suffragan bishop of Maryland, will preside at the celebration of Mr. Steiner's new ministry and installation as rector of Trinity Episcopal, officially handing over the keys.

The congregation warmly welcomes all to attend. Trinity Episcopal is at 7474 Washington Blvd. in Elkridge.


Centennial High School's Student Government Association is holding its annual "Jingle Bell Banquet" at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to feed and entertain Howard County senior citizens.

This year, the banquet will include a roast turkey dinner cooked by the SGA members and parents. After dessert is served, the students will entertain with music.

I doff my cap in recognition of SGA members Susan Fuller and Jeanine Bartel, who are heading this effort.

About 200 seniors ate at the banquet last year, and the students hope to do as well this year. The cost per person is $2.

Transportation via bus will be available. Call 313-1856 with your questions.


Cub Scout Pack 361, which meets at the First Presbyterian Church on Route 108, held its annual uniform Inspection and Competition at November's monthly pack meeting. The boys were inspected for badge placement and uniform correctness.

The winners of the competition were the Wolves in Den 5, who were awarded a party. Den 5 consists of Nick Angle, Clark Austin, Jason Fisher, Colin O'Haver, Miles Thome, Michael Trexler, James Walsh, Billy Young and Shaun Ziegelbauer.

The boys are second graders at Centennial Lane Elementary School. The den leader, Michelle Trexler, is proud of her Cub Scouts.

More than 40 members of Pack 361 attended the Navy-SMU football game on Nov. 20 with their families.

They also were treated to a Naval Academy tour conducted by a middie who had earned an Eagle Scout award.


St. Augustine Church is once again holding its All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast at the church at 5976 Old Washington Road in Elkridge.

They'll be dishing up eggs, sausage, pancakes, home fries, toast and beverages from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. this coming Sunday, Dec. 12.

Tickets cost $3.50 for adults and $2 for children 3 to 12 years old. Children under 3 are free.

Come eat breakfast at the oldest Catholic church in the county!


I've found a couple of holiday gift ideas for you.

Each will help a local organization, making the gift benefit more than your friend or relative.

Howard County Historical Society in Ellicott City offers a selection of Christmas ornaments depicting historic structures throughout the county.

The structures depicted are in three categories: Howard County churches, Ellicott City Historic District structures and Howard County structures.

A new ornament will be created annually in each category. This year's ornaments portray the Patapsco Female Institute, the First Presbyterian Church, where the Howard County Historical Society is housed, and St. Charles College.

Each ornament is numbered, boxed, and includes a card briefly describing the structure. Each ornament costs $9.95 plus tax, and all proceeds benefit the Society.

You can purchase the ornaments at the Museum building, 8328 Court Ave., Tuesdays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or at the Society's library behind the Museum on Tuesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. The Main Street stores Christmas Company and Ellicott's Country Store also will carry the ornaments. For more information, call the society's library at 750-0370.


Ellicott City's Friends of Whipps Cemetery is selling note cards in three attractive designs.

"All God's creation sings with the beauty of His love -- Rejoice!" proclaims the Christmas card, with a pen-and-ink sketch of a bird perched in a holly tree.

"We are the stewards of Nature's beauty" with a bird design are all-occasion cards. The bird designs are six to a box for $4.

A Dunloggin note card collection features four designs, two of each, in a box for $5.

Pen-and-ink drawings portray local landmarks such as the Whipps Graveyard, the Caretaker's Cottage at the St. John's Cemetery, the old St. John's Rectory and MacAlpine Manor.

Note cards can be ordered from Barbara Sieg at 465-6721.

Profits from the sale go toward restoration work at Whipps Cemetery off St. John's Lane.


Elkridge's Rockburn Township Homeowner's Association will hold its annual General Meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow, at Rockburn Elementary School's Media Center.

The meeting will include a review of the budget, general business and election of new board members.


Rockburn Township's Neighborhood Crime Watch Committee is

taking every step to make life difficult for criminals.

The committee is organizing a community-wide engraving of valuables program.

Full participation within the community is important for police recognition of the neighborhood as a Crime Watch Neighborhood.

In addition, a community directory will be printed to encourage residents to know their neighbors, so as to distinguish them from strangers on the street.

A telephone tree is in progress to enable quick communication in the case of an emergency.


Elkridge Branch Library announces its presentation of "Let's Celebrate," a program of seasonal stories and activities for 3- to 5-year-old children.

The program will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. You can register your child after 1 p.m. tomorrow by calling 313-5085 or by going to the library.

On Saturday, Dec. 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., "Twist and Shout," a program of music and movement activities for 2- and 3-year-old children with a parent, will take place at Elkridge Branch Library.

Registration begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday.


Warm up little hands by contributing a pair of mittens or gloves to hang on the boughs of Central Library's Mitten Tree.

After decorating the library's Children's Department, the mittens will be donated to the preschool students at Howard County Head Start Program.

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