Photo courtesy Merriweather Symphony of Lights.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement in regards to the Circuit Court ruling of a preliminary injunction on the lawsuit between the Columbia Association and Inner Arbor Trust Downtown, Columbia Arts & Culture Commission and It’s My Amphitheater Inc.

The ruling allowed the previously scheduled Howard County General Hospital fundraiser and COVID-19 safe Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Post Pavilion to be held this year. The Howard County government was not involved or party to in this litigation.

“The Symphony of Lights is wonderful tradition in Downtown Columbia that has continued for 20 years and supported Howard County General Hospital. This year, we’ve cheered and clapped for our health care heroes, and this fundraiser will support their valiant efforts to keep our community safe during a devastating pandemic.

If there was ever a year where our community needs a COVID-safe activity that evokes holiday cheer and raised much needed funding for our hospital – it is 2020. This season, we have had to miss out on some of our most cherished traditions and with the Symphony of Lights, we can provide a safe way to lift spirits through these difficult times. As we continue to encourage our residents to stay COVID safe, we also must be cognizant of the mental health needs of our residents and the positive impact that a safe, joyous, community event like Symphony of Lights can provide to their holiday season.

This litigation between Columbia Association and It’s My Amphitheatre Inc. has been challenging to witness. During a time when we see divisions stretching across our county and communities – I hope all parties involved can find common ground.

We have seen the power of collective action and kindness, especially with the approaching holiday. Let’s move forward together, embrace the spirit of harmony, and enjoy this longstanding tradition. Howard County will continue to RISE and recover from the health, emotional, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward with Symphony of Lights this holiday season will not only support our community heroes but will brighten our hopes for a better and more prosperous 2021.”