November 26: Shop Small Saturday  Ellicott City

Kick off the holiday season by becoming a neighborhood champion and choosing to shop small businesses in Old Ellicott City this holiday season. There are more than 50 stores, boutiques and restaurants in which to find unique gifts. Sip hot chocolate while enjoying specials and sidewalk sales throughout town all day.

December 1: Midnight Madness

Visit Old Ellicott City Friday, Dec. 1 for the 39th annual Midnight Madness celebration. The unique shops, restaurants and historic sites are open until midnight.  Festivities include a tree lighting ceremony, carolers, Santa’s workshop and more.

April: Springfest

Celebrate Earth Day in Old Ellicott City with an afternoon of fun featuring four outdoor music stages, local craft beer gardens plus kids’ areas hosting free crafts and games. There will be sidewalk shopping and outdoor dining with lots of free parking.

September: Main Street Music Fest

Spend the day in the Ellicott City historic district with the best musical talent the mid-Atlantic has to offer with 60-plus performers across six-plus stages. Enjoy “everything local,” from craft beer gardens to selections from local restaurants. There will be free kid activities, family fun and more.

For more information and to see what businesses have reopened, go to www.VisitEllicottCity.com.

Kittleman Announces Agreement With Corps of Engineers to Conduct Flood-Proofing Study for Ellicott City

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced that the county has signed an agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a flood-proofing assessment for Ellicott City’s Main Street area, which was significantly damaged during a July 30 flash flood.

Kittleman said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will gather data from more than a dozen buildings in the Main Street corridor between the Patapsco River and Route 29, using the mix of commercial and residential buildings as examples of the kinds of structures that could benefit from flood proofing. The Corps would then offer recommendations for measures that could be taken by property owners.

Examples of nonstructural flood-proofing measures include elevation of buildings, moving valuables to higher locations, raising utilities and waterproofing buildings by applying sealant and installing closures on doors and windows. The study will also take the historic nature of buildings into consideration, Kittleman said.

The Corps will work with partners to collect information on the July 30 flood, as well as review data and modeling from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and other storm events to incorporate into the study. It will also provide to Howard County building elevation surveys for the approximately 100 buildings in the 500-year floodplain in Ellicott’s historic district. This baseline data will be useful for the county to understand what the flood risk is for each building.

Upon completion of the study, which will take about a year, the Corps will prepare a report for Howard County summarizing the results of the building surveys and flood-proofing evaluations, as well as include an economic analysis, Kittleman said. Based on the results, the Corps will recommend to the county whether flood-proofing is a viable option for the historic structures.

HCAC Accepting Applications for Re-create: Ellicott City Fund

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is accepting applications for the Re-create: Ellicott City Artist Relief Fund that was established to assist artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations affected by the July 30 flash flood in Historic Ellicott City. The priority deadline for applications is Nov. 11.

During the flood, many artists with studios and with artwork in galleries in Ellicott City suffered considerable losses of artwork, equipment and studio space — negatively impacting their livelihood, as well as the once vital and growing arts district in Historic Ellicott City. In response, the HCAC established the Re-create: Ellicott City Artist Relief Fund to provide financial support to these artists on their road to recovery.

The HCAC’s priority deadline will focus on providing relief grants to individual artists who live and work in, and to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations located in, the Ellicott City disaster zone. This will be followed by Howard County, and then Maryland, artists whose work was lost or damaged.

Should additional funding remain after the priority deadline, program eligibility will be expanded to include for-profit arts businesses, such as galleries, that are a component of the arts eco-system needed to support the work of artists and to re-establish the once vibrant arts district in Ellicott City. Re-create funds will be awarded on a rolling basis after the priority deadline.

More than 100 donors have made a pledge to the fund through a direct donation or through the sale of artwork. To date, $41,000 has been raised for the relief effort with major contributions coming from Mary and Earl Armiger and the Maryland State Arts Council. The application and guidelines are available at hocoarts.org, with hard copies available at the Howard County Center for the Arts, in Ellicott City. Call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or email info@hocoarts.org for more information.