Thursday, September 30, 2021

Decisions, Decisions

Autumn can be a glorious time in Columbia/HoCo, with an abundance of days that are not too hot and not too cold. It’s traditionally a time for harvest festivals and all sorts of outdoor events. This year’s autumn events come with the added reassurance that being outside is a safer place to be in the world of COVID. Part of me wants to go to all of them for just that reason.

Tonight in the Park (Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods) is this year’s last outdoor happy hour of the season. It’s free but you must register so they’ll know how many people to expect. Oh yes, there’s also yoga on the Chrysalis stage if that’s your thing. I keep forgetting to mention that. 

Last Thursday Happy Hour featuring Moonstone, 9/30 from 5-7 pm

Saturday is an explosion of choices. My day will begin at the Oakland Mills Fall Festival. This is one of the events I really missed last year when public events were canceled due to the pandemic. It begins at 11 am but the OMHS band will be kicking it off a bit before the hour so, if you like band music, make sure you’re there by 10:50. It’s a free event. There will be food and drink for purchase, live entertainment, children’s activities and - - well, it’s all on the poster.

Oakland Mills Fall Festival, 10/2 from 11 am to 4 pm. Oakland Mills Village Center,Robert Oliver Place.

The East Columbia Branch of the Howard County Library will be hopping with with two different events. At noon it’s Community Circles: A Longest Table Event.  

Share an outdoors meal and conversation with some people you don’t know and discover both common ground and new ideas. Opening remarks from Trent Day Hall, a local leader in thoughtful dialogue and facilitation, from the Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity.


  • Catered boxed lunches
  • Facilitated, small-group conversation
  • Separate circular tables provide more social distance and more intimate conversation

Then, from 2-5, it’s the HCLS Five-Star Showcase:

We are celebrating and you are invited. HCLS is a Five Star Library, as ranked by Library Journal for excellence, because of our services, initiatives, and most importantly – you! 

Bring your family and friends, and meet us outdoors for a great time. We have fun activities and interactive experiences planned for your entire group!  

Whether you want to give the 360° photo booth a spin, get hands-on with HiTech carnival games and flex your skills in a Ten80 race, grab a meal from a food truck to sit and take in tunes from the live DJ, enjoy a cozy storytime and kids crafts at our new Pop-up Library, or just relax in one of our outdoor lounges and connect with someone new, we can’t wait to see you there.  

Lastly, the event you’ve probably been hearing the most about: the Hops and Harvest Festival, which leads off its description of the day like this: Unlimited tastings. Live Entertainment. Fresh Local Food.  Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Needless to say, drinking alcoholic beverages is limited to the over-21 crowd and: be smart. Pick a designated driver.

As the Irish side of my family would say, you’re spoilt for choice this weekend. If there are other local events you’d like to share, add them in the comments.

Saturday looks to be shaping up to be sunny and gorgeous. My only challenge will be deciding what to do.

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