The 50th annual Howard County Fair will begin Saturday, and members of the newly formed Patapsco Valley 4-H Club are busily finishing record books and projects for fair competition.
The club began only in September, meeting in Hebron House but quickly outgrowing it. The club now meets in Mount Hebron Presbyterian's Fellowship Hall.
From a beginning group of four children, the club now boasts 15 members and still is growing, with four or five curious guests at each monthly meeting.
The group studies photography under the direction of project leaders Jo Duckworth and Diane Pickeral.
Each member must work on at least one additional project, which entails maintaining records of time and money spent on the project.
"Four-H teaches the communications skills of writing and speaking," says Nellie Arrington, who leads the group with Laurie Dixon. "They also learn parliamentary procedure and project management. The goal is to create productive members of the community."
While 4-H traditionally has focused on the rural child, Patapsco Valley Club has a decidedly suburban character.
Each member is working on at least three projects, learning about fields as diverse as pets, computers, foods, crafts, electricity and science.
Members include Bradley Austin and Julia Lemich of Columbia; Abigail Kloetzli, Liesel Kloetzli and Diana Frantz of Baltimore; and Secora Bintz, Courtney Conklin, Christine Dixon, Joanna Duckworth, Elyse Evans, Cara Lessels, Kathryn Lessels, Jessica Pruitt, David Wainland, Kristin Henry and Gayden Druchel of Ellicott City.
The gate of the Howard County Fair opens for the 1995 fair at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The exhibits will be incomplete Saturday because the jams, jellies, premium vegetables and animals still will be arriving.
But the rides and concessions will be open, and line dancing instruction and a Red Hot Country country-western performance should make the first day as enjoyable as all the others.
Where else can you go and see a cattle judging, horse show, baby contest and worm race all in one day?
A little glimpse into my past reveals that 21 years ago, I entered my 8-month-old Nathan in the baby contest. Dressed as Noah and sitting in a red wagon decorated as an ark, he won fourth prize in some very stiff competition.
I find the Howard County Fair to be great, innocent fun. I never miss it.
Golfers can take heart, knowing that the Timbers, the first public golf course in Howard County, is under construction.
Work on the new course began this spring on 206 acres in Elkridge near the junction of Interstate 95 and the new Route 100.
Clearing and stumping, rough grading on 10 holes, shaping of nine greens, and two of seven bridges are complete.
The pond and three wells have been dug and construction is just starting on the clubhouse.
Paul Eldrege, president of Wadsworth Gold Construction Co., says the Timbers is the most difficult site with which his company has dealt.
Two streams, a petroleum pipeline and a city waterline have interfered with access to the developing course.
Total length of the completed course will be 6,684 yards.
A nine-hole course and the clubhouse are due for completion next summer.
Upon its completion, adult golfers will have a beautiful new golf course, and young people will have the possibility of learning the game, with the help of Todd Arterburn.
An Ellicott City resident, Mr. Arterburn works for the golf course architect, Ken Killian. He has watched golfing opportunities dissolve in this county.
County-sponsored programs and high school golf teams have disappeared in the face of insufficient funds and little playing space.
His Rainmaker Associates is trying to change that. The group is founding the Rainmaker Foundation, with the goal of introducing a new generation of disadvantaged and minority youth to the sport.
He's planning to introduce these kids to the sport with free golf lessons, golf outings, free or reduced greens fees and an annual benefit tournament.
In addition, the Rainmaker Foundation will offer a college scholarship to a chosen graduate of the introduction-to-golf program.
If you visit the Elkridge Library this month, you may bring home more than a few books and a video. You may find an answer to your commuting problems.
This month, information on commuting and transportation alternatives will be shown at the Commuter Assistance Exhibit.
The Elkridge Library is at 6540 Washington Boulevard in Elkridge. For information, phone Karen O'Neill at the Commuter Assistance Office, (410) 313-3130.
Mom's Taxi, an Ellicott City ride service especially aimed at the younger set, begins this month. That's when Worthington Elementary School PTA has planned an Enrichment Week program for the children in the school.
Mom's Taxi will give a free ride to all Worthington children who lack transportation for each day's activities.
The new business is the brainchild of Ellicott City residents Linda Betts and Lynn Foehrkolb, who chose to continue doing what they do well: playing "Mom's Taxi."
In addition to transporting children ages 4 through 18, Mom's Taxi will transport mobile adults as needed.
Fees vary depending upon individual needs. For information, call (410) 227-1958.