If you are considering going to Ellicott City for the first time this weekend since the train derailment, you're not alone.
Howard County Tourism and local bloggers are promoting this weekend as Main Street Appreciation Weekend to promote Main Street businesses.
Frederick Road leading west from Catonsville across the Patapsco River has been closed since the accident early Tuesday morning.
The town was just designated a and, despite the road closures necessary to clean-up the damage from a CSX train derailment earlier this week, most shops are open and ready for business.
Wondering how to get to the shopping district? Howard County Tourism has some suggestions:
- The Ellicott City Historic District can be accessed from US Route 40 via Rogers Ave and Ellicott Mills Drive
- From Route 100 by way of State Route 103 (Montgomery Road) to Old Columbia Pike
- Frederick Road coming west from Route 40 in Catonsville and St. John’s Lane
Parking lots A, B and C are closed as the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into the derailment, but there's still plenty of parking around Main Street.
As a bonus -- all parking is currently free:
- Lot F behind the log cabin off of Ellicott Mills Drive
- Lot D behind Welcome Center off of Main Street
- Lot E behind The , also accessed from Main Street
- lot above Main Street. This is accessed from US 40 via Rogers Avenue to Court House Drive.
- parking lot (located on Fells Lane off Ellicott City Drive).
Howard County blogger Tom Coale has initiated a this weekend, saying in a Facebook announcement:
Let's help our local businesses get back on their feet after a tough year. Find a way to eat, drink, or buy something sold by one of our Downtown Ellicott City Merchants this weekend.
As people shop, Coale asks them keep the two women killed in the derailment -- -- and their families in their thoughts.
Joining the effort is Baltimore Raven's player Ray Rice, who posted on his Facebook page that he is working with Lee Biars, owner of Diamondback Grill and Portalli's, on lunch and dinner specials to further boost interest.
A Scholarship Fund has been set up for Elizabeth. Donations can be sent to:
Elizabeth Nass Scholarship Fund/mthptsa
c/o M &T Bank St. Johns Lane
9125 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042