Wilde Lake offers flavor of community


May 17, 2000|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Wilde Lake, Columbia's first village, celebrated spring on Saturday with the Taste of Wilde Lake and a tour of homes.

Cheese and spinach knishes, pizza, egg rolls, Jamaican pastry, and organic cheese were some of the treats offered free to visitors at the annual event, as well as a healthy dose of community spirit.

Hundreds of people braved the unseasonably hot temperatures to sample food from the village's restaurants and shops, play games, buy hand-crafted items, dance to live music and connect with neighbors.

David London, owner of David's Natural Market, began the festival more than 10 years ago."We wanted to thank our customers and give them the opportunity to try new products," he said.

He's amazed by how the event has grown. "We started with three or four tables in front of the store and now it's crazy.""I think it does an awful lot for the community," said Sharon Lea, event coordinator for the Wilde Lake Community Association. "It's a great thing for people to sit and talk to each other and see what's available in Wilde Lake."

This year, for the first time, the community association sponsored a tour of Wilde Lake homes. Of the 40 homes listed for sale in Wilde Lake, eight signed up to be included in the tour. Prospective home buyers were given maps and invited to tour the homes between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Rick LaRocca, a member of the first graduating class at Wilde Lake High School and Realtor with RE/MAX Columbia, proposed the idea."Because Wilde Lake's Revitalization Committee and all the villages are concerned with revitalization of property values, I felt as a realtor that there's a value to all of us working together to promote the community. We're selling more than houses here, we're selling community," LaRocca said.

Helen Kolbe and Vivian Stevens, members of the Wilde Lake Village Board, gave out maps to the homes at the festival on Saturday. They reported a great deal of interest in the tour."We want people to see the different lifestyles that are available in Wilde Lake," said Stevens, chairwoman of the village's Revitalization Committee. "We have condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes. The tour is a win-win situation for the Realtors, the owners and the community."

Kolbe has owned property in Wilde Lake for 26 years. She said living in Wilde Lake has definite advantages."We're right in the heart of Columbia," she said. "Everything is so convenient."

Village residents pitched in to make the day's events a success. Some sold merchandise promoting Columbia; others painted children's faces or washed cars. Wilde Lake High School freshmen Lauren Schneider, StefanieLargentand Elizabeth Eganhelped out with the games."We get to help the little kids and see people from our school," Lauren said. "I think it's fun."

KayodyAnderson, 15, and ShadiaSmith, 14, added beads to braided hair, just as it is done in Jamaica."My whole family is from Jamaica," Shadia said. "My mom thought it was a great idea to do hair braiding because if you go to Jamaica you would get your hair braided on the beach."

MaeSmith, Shadia's mother, brought samples of traditional Jamaican treats, including gizzada, a pastry made with coconut.

The Kangaroo Kids entertained the crowd with a demonstration of precision jump rope skills, while musician Orlando Phillipskept a reggae beat going through the afternoon."This event shows that Wilde Lake still has that community spirit," said Josh Feldmesser, chairman of the Wilde Lake village board.


Several area corporations competed in NASCOUT 500, a variation on the traditional Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race, at the Mall in Columbia on Saturday. The event was a fund-raiser for the National Pike District of Boy Scouts of America, which serves 4,000 boys and girls in Howard County.

Seventeen companies paid $500 each to sponsor a miniature race car built by Cub Scouts. The event raised $11,000.

Each vehicle, made from a kit, must weigh less than five ounces after lead weights are added."It's kind of a father-son project where they carve the car out according to dimensions and rules," said Mark Milby, executive director for the Boy Scouts in Howard County.

The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City took first place in the race with a car built by Seth Fowler, a member of Pack 615. Ryan Turner of Pack 373 built the second place winner for Today's Fireplace. Third place was won by Pinnacle Advisory Groupwith the car built by Josh Gaimaro, Pack 914, and the fourth place finisher was built by Matt Hodges, Pack 1991, for Colliers Pinkard.

The race was organized by the district's volunteer Community Friends of Scouting Committee: Richard Grove Jr., Jeffrey McCarron, Michael Elardo, Mark Banta, Sean Sands, Alan Jefferson, Brian Thompson, Paul Gleichauf, Michael Torcisi, Mylene Arza, Brian Walters, Darryl Becker and Katie Graham.

Atholton High winners

Atholton High School had three winners at the state level in the PTA-sponsored Reflections contest. This gave the school more winners than any other school in Howard County.

Elizabeth Klaczynski won the Award of Excellence for her entry in the photography category.

VirajitaDavid won the Award of Excellence for her entry in the literature category.

Hans Ostendorp won the Award of Merit for his musical composition.

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