Think Pink: that's what the banners up and down Main Street are telling you these days. Why? Because the historic district is the hub for many events planned for this year's Cherrybration Celebration, an annual event that supports the work of the Claudia Meyer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital. It's great that we can have a lot of fun while supporting this worthy cause that helps so many people. All of this month select restaurants are offering "Pink Plate Specials," which support the cause. Restaurants participating in the historic district are the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company and Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant.

In anticipation of the Luminary Parade scheduled for April 27 and originating at the Patapsco Female Institute, several free lantern making workshops will be offered at the Howard County Welcome Center, 8267 Main St. These will be held Saturday, April 14, noon-2 p.m.; Sunday, April 15, 2-4 p.m.; April 21, noon-2 p.m.; and April 22, 2-4 p.m. If you would prefer to make your lantern at home, there is a demonstration on YouTube.


On Thursday, April 19 the new 'Ambassador of Howard County', 'Ginger Breadgirl,' will meet and greet visitors from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Welcome Center, to tell people about the Cherrybration and the Blossoms of Hope cherry tree planting.

Presented by the Ellicott City Business Association, the third annual Hills of Milltown 5K Challenge is scheduled for April 21 at 8 a.m. at the corner ofSt. Paul Street and New Cut Road, just up the hill from the Railroad Station Museum. The $30 registration fee includes a commemorative T-shirt and also benefits the cause. The race route is quite scenic, climbing New Cut Road and descending the hilly College Avenue. Cash and gift certificate prizes totaling over $500 will be awarded. For registration information, call 410-313-1900.

On April 28, the Ellicott City Spring Cherrybration Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the historic district. Sponsored by the Ellicott City Business Association and Howard County Tourism, the event will feature activities for children, street performers and live music. Come on down!

Photo contest

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation is again sponsoring its annual amateur photo contest for photos taken within the historic district. There are three categories: adult (18 and older), junior (17 and younger) and this year's special category, "Off the beaten path," photos taken in the historic district, but not on Main Street.

Entries should be delivered to the Howard County Tourism and Promotion Office in the former Post Office building on Main Street no later than May 18. Entry forms and more information are available there as well. Cash prizes will be awarded and all photos will be on display in June and July at the Howard County Historical Society Museum.

Murals update

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation has announced a fundraising campaign to restore the New Deal murals in the Tourism Welcome Center in the old Post Office. The building opened as a post office in 1940, and the murals were installed in 1942. Seventy years of dust and smoke have darkened the murals, making them difficult to see. Several donations have been received so far.

Shirley Bossom established the fund in memory of her late husband, Cliff Hughes, a popular longtime tour guide for Tourism. Her donation has been matched by Historic Ellicott City, Inc., a group that has worked in the historic district for many years, preserving it and its history. Donations may be made by going to http://www.ecrestoration.org via PayPal, or by checks made payable to ECRF and mailed to P.O. Box 92, Ellicott City, MD 21041. I think we will all be amazed by the restoration of the murals, and that they will become an important tourist attraction in town.

Vacations to America

A dear family friend of ours, Daniel Cohen, is currently living in London and has sent along a promo for visits to America's south — including Ellicott City. What had us laughing is that Ellicott City is included in a proposed itinerary for Maryland's Eastern Shore, along with St. Michael's, Oxford and Cambridge. Visitors are encouraged to shop in 'Historic Ellicott.' When I mentioned our new geographical location to my husband, Tom, he said, "Well, we are east of the Patuxent." Another friend said, "That earthquake last year did more than we thought." So, don't be surprised to hear British accents on the streets of the historic district, perhaps mistaking the Patapsco for the Chesapeake.