Several Victorian celebrations mark the holidays


November 23, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A VICTORIAN- style horse and sleigh, carved from large blocks of ice, glistened in the tent pavilion.

Standing outside Elkridge Furnace Inn on Wednesday evening, the tent was decorated for the Howard County Tourism Council's "Event of the Season."

The horse and sleigh were prepared by staff from the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center.

The celebration accommodated a variety of tastes and interests, from subtle to lavish, historic to modern.

Four rooms in the inn and tables in the tent held elaborate food dishes and items for a silent auction.

This year's theme -- a Victorian Holiday -- attracted more than 200 guests and 150 items for the auction. Fifteen area restaurants offered food and drink.

The annual celebration has been the Tourism Council's major fund-raiser.

Carole Sachs of Spring House Design of Ellicott City decorated the tent -- a warm, festive space.

Holiday music alternated with the voice of an announcer directing the silent auction.

A committee led by Cynthia Taliano planned the event.

Committee members included Bill Sachs, Mindy Markovich, Karen Justice, Steve Adler, Regina Ford, Margaret Smith, Belinda Lee and Ed Lilley.

All are members of the Tourism Council's board -- except for staff member Markovich and Lilley, owner of The Christmas Company in Ellicott City.

Elkridge Furnace Inn radiated a sense of holiday warmth. The restaurant had recently been renovated. Its kitchen was moved into the former cellar of the original tavern, creating three elegant dining rooms on the second floor.

The event was one of the first of many historically themed celebrations planned for the holidays.

The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park has planned two Victorian Holiday events.

At 3 p.m. Dec. 6, hostesses in Victorian dress will present traditional Maryland sweets and savories -- circa 1859.

The Holiday Tea will be held in the parlors at Mount Ida, the former home of William Ellicott built in 1828.

Guests will receive a complimentary booklet describing Christmas myths, traditions, carols and recipes of Maryland.

The cost is $25. Reservations are recommended.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 13, the Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute will hold an open house at Mount Ida.

Hostesses will share early Maryland Christmas traditions and serve light refreshments.

The cost is $3.

Mount Ida is at 3691 Sarah's Lane in Ellicott City. Information or reservations: 410-465-8500.

Christmas trains

Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum will open its holiday exhibit of model trains at 11 a.m. Friday.

The new exhibit features six layouts and 24 trains, a scale model of the first 13 miles of railroad in America, an outdoor garden exhibit of Lionel trains and a display of a private collection of antique model trains and accessories.

Younger patrons can push buttons to operate Thomas the Tank Engine (and his friends) in a room that serves as the office of Sir Topham Hatt of the children's television series set in Shining Time Station.

Volunteers in period dress will replicate an 1863 Maryland Christmas celebration.

Next month, the museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Mondays, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

The last admission of the day will be one hour before closing.

The cost is $4 for adults; $3 for seniors and students; and $2 for children 12 and younger.

Information: 410-461-1944.

'Nutcrackers' abound

Trains and train gardens are traditional for this season -- and so are performances of "The Nutcracker."

The Ellicott City Ballet Guild, directed by Caryl Maxwell, will present the ballet version of "The Nutcracker" at 7: 30 p.m. Dec. 10-13 at the Smith Theatre, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.

Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2: 30 p.m.

Tickets range from $8 to $16.

Among the dancers are Ellicott City residents Sarah Beaumont, Elena Consoli, Lisa DeGangi, Caitlin Emery, Lani Yap, Kristen Young, Kyleigh Sackandy, Elizabeth Fleckenstein, Grace Goode, Dorothy Beyer and Britanny Kwash.

The girls range in age from 12 to 17 and attend four to six classes each week, says Diane Nelson, production assistant for the guild.

Ballet is "like training for the Olympics," Nelson said. These girls "eat, sleep and dance," she said.

The Columbia Figure Skating Club will present the "Nutcracker on Ice" Dec. 12 and 19 at the Columbia Ice Rink, 5876 Thunder Hill Road, Columbia.

Among local residents skating will be Allison Barber, who will skate in a solo piece; Samantha Huntt as the Snow Queen; Stephanie Jarrett as the Arabian; Russ Rzemien as Uncle Drosselmeyer; and Stephanie Wittbecker as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Other skaters from our area include Laura and Stephanie Burrows, Megan Burleigh, Sophia Chien, Lisa Caton, Elizabeth Daly, Laura Dattaro and Stephanie Ducey; Kimberly, Sarah, Meryl and Stephen Eddy; Beth Hackman, Michelle Illar, Amy Jordan, Alexandra and Brittanie Klinedinst; Erin and Laura Maskell, Courtney Pearce, Katherine Penyak, Amanda Pleasant, Jessica Rohrer, Ashley Virtue and Lisa Warner.

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