The holidays are upon us!
No matter what you celebrate, you need to join in on the fun in the historic district of Ellicott City. The hearty souls who have reopened their businesses here deserve your support.
The number one event of the season is, of course, Midnight Madness, being held this year on Friday, Dec. 7. This event always attracts a lot of people, so think about using Uber or Lyft to get there, and the free shuttle to get around.
Santa will be at the old Firehouse from 4 to 8 p.m. that day. The tree lighting takes place at the B&O Plaza at 6 p.m. and there will be strolling carolers and a Winter Holiday Market — and, of course, all of the stores and restaurants will be open late.
If you miss Santa that day, he will be arriving by sleigh at noon at the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station on Saturday, Dec. 8, and he will be there until 4 p.m.
Stop in to see the marvelous Holiday Train Gardens as well. They will be on display until Jan. 6 and feature a two-part LEGO display. Admission is free.
Ellicott City artists are offering a Holiday Hop on Dec. 1 and 2 from 12 to 5 p.m. This is an open studio event featuring artists’ demonstrations and light refreshments. Participating are Discoveries, Syriana, Taylor’s Artists’ Gallery, the Clayground, Mat About You, Made on Main and the West End Studios.
On Dec. 1, the Old Mill Café at 4 Frederick Road, just across the bridge, is joining with the Ballet Conservatoire XIV to present a Holiday Nutcracker Tea, featuring readings, ballet, beverages and a holiday treat. Shows will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. To reserve, call 410-465-2253.
I heard from Jim and Janet Robey that their church, the Gary Memorial United Methodist Church at 2029 Daniels Road in is holding an Advent Vesper Service, “Longing and Expectation,” on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. featuring music, readings and silence. Soprano Karen Lilli Pax and pianist Sandy Adkins will perform.
Two local authors have recently published books that would be nice inclusions in your holiday purchases.
Michael Maloney has written “Mile Marker Ten,” a mystery/suspense novel set in Ellicott City in 1908. Copies are available at the Old Mill Café, the Wine Bin, the Historical Society and the Artists’ Gallery on Main Street.
Shelley Davies Wygant is the author of “Haunted Ellicott City,” a look at ghost stories and local legends, a combination of history and horrors, and also available locally.
The Howard County Conservancy is holding its Natural Holiday Sale on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant and features gift items from the Cross Country and Dorsey Hall Garden Clubs and the Howard County Beekeeper’s Association, among many others.
The Howard County Arts Council is holding its Open House and Holiday Sale on Nov. 29 at 8510 High Ridge Road. The event, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. features refreshments, music and arts and crafts for purchase.
The Howard County Rec and Parks tree lighting, Christmas in the Park, will take place on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. at Centennial Park, South Entrance off of Route 108 and includes caroling and light refreshments.
The Fire Station on Montgomery Road is staging its 21st Train Garden and Open House from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. Hours are Wednesday through Friday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
On Nov. 29, the Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. is hosting a presentation by Shawn Gladden, executive director of the Howard County Historical Society. Called “Brew Collar History: a History of Flooding in Ellicott City,” it will begin at 8 p.m. at the Brewing Co., 8308 Main St. Admission is free. For reservations call 410-313-8141.
On Dec. 1, at noon, Society will host its next children’s program at the Museum, 8328 Court Ave. Children ages 5 to 12 can Deck the Halls, creating old-fashioned decorations. Tickets are $5, free to children and grandchildren of Society members.
On Dec. 7, also at the Museum, the Society’s Lunch Date With History features “Columbia at 50—10 things you didn’t know” presented by journalist Len Lazarick. For reservations for either of these events, call 410-480-3250.