A chance to see the sights on Main St.

Candlelight Night in Ellicott City offers free tours

November 17, 2006|By Amanda Walter | Amanda Walter,sun reporter

Candlelight Night in Ellicott City typically is a chance for the historic district's shops and businesses to show off just in time for the holiday season.

But tonight's event - the 15th Annual Candlelight Night - offers visitors an opportunity to tour a number of Main Street's historic attractions free.

Among them are the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, Emory United Methodist Church, Mount Ida and Patapsco Female Institute, which generally are open only at certain times.

The expanded Candlelight Night is "a chance for all the historical places in historic Ellicott City to be able to open their doors and for people to get a taste of our culture at one time," said Jacquelyn Galke, director of Patapsco Female Institute. "This is just the historical sites' way of giving back to the community."

Organizers hope the holiday-themed event will offer a glimpse of how people in the 18th and 19th centuries celebrated the season.

Among the highlights:

The Thomas Isaac Log Cabin will give visitors a chance to learn about the settlement and development of the region from costumed historians and artisans. Attractions include crafts demonstrations and tours of the cabin.

Mount Ida, the visitors center for Patapsco Female Institute, will offer refreshments. Also planned is a session on how to transform a Victorian fan into a holiday ornament.

The Ellicott City Firehouse Museum, which includes an exhibit of antique firefighting equipment and material on the history of Ellicott City fires, will feature banjo player Art Boone.

The B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City, which has exhibits on early transportation in the United States, will be open for tours.

Howard County Tourism will offer its "Ghost Tour" of famous hauntings on Main Street.

Emory United Methodist Church is planning an ambitious program for the evening.

From 8 o'clock to 8:30, it will feature a choral performance by the Nightingales. Organized by Lois Hunter, director of music at the church, the group will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a program of Christmas music, including French carols, a spiritual and a women's piece called "Noel, Noel."

Galke said she hopes that the expanded Candlelight Night will draw more people to historic Ellicott City to shop, play and learn more about the rich culture that the city has to offer.

The 15th Annual Candlelight Night in historic Ellicott City will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Main Street. Visitors can park free at the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Courthouse parking lot, in front of the post office on Main Street and at the railroad museum. A shuttle will take visitors to Candlelight Night events. Information: 410-465-8500.

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