How do you celebrate something as big as a 150th birthday? You throw a really big birthday party. If it's Howard County's sesquicentennial gala, you call it Dancing Through the Decades. You give your 700 guests the choice of dressing from a previous era in the county's history, or coming in current formal wear. Then you scatter several bands around Historic Savage Mill, playing music from different periods. And you even serve up history on a platter, with food choices from the past such as roast suckling pig and venison stew.
The party presented a jumble of living history -- Victorian gowns, poodle skirts, pillbox hats and peace signs. There was sesquicentennial executive committee co-chair Dessie Moxley decked out in flapper garb, former Howard county executive and event co-chair Charles Ecker in a bright blue zoot suit, and another co-chair, Ben Bialek, dressed as a Union soldier.
Also spotted in the throng: Peggy Ecker and Deb Jung, event co-chairs; Howard County Executive Jim Robey and Janet Robey, event honorary chairs; Charlotte Powel, Marianne D'Elia and Barbara Barnow, event committee members; Leola Dorsey, sesquicentennial executive committee member; Barbara Feaga, Corinne Gorzo, Laura Wetherald and Maureen McCarthy, sesquicentennial action committee members; Lee Wildemann, sesquicentennial executive director; Mike Walczak, Howard County Historical Society executive director; Steven Adler, Historic Savage Mill managing partner; Vic Broccolino, Howard County General Hospital president / CEO; Dennis Miller, Rouse Co. development director; Don Hutchinson, Greater Baltimore Committee president; Dick Gelfman, WJZ-TV investigative reporter; Andy Barth, WMAR-TV reporter; Chris Pettingill, Pettingill Associates human resources executive; Maggie Brown, Columbia Association president; Maria Johnson, Bank of America senior vice president; Frank DePietro, Mumbles & Squeaks Toy Shop owner; Kathy Hargest, B&O; Railroad Museum director of marketing; Bill Sachs, Ellicott City artist; and Karen Schonfeld, Allfirst Bank vice president.
The big present at this sell-out birthday party: $40,000 raised for Howard County projects.