Columbia celebrated its 45th anniversary this year by announcing a series of developments to its downtown, welcoming Wegmans, opening a new county park, a restaurant and even a circus school.
And the city did it while weathering a nasty summer Derecho and Superstorm Sandy.
Check out 2012 through Columbia Patch's photos above. Below you can find links to the stories where the photographs were featured.
'Zaching': Maryland Teen With Brain Cancer Inspires Web Phenomenon - January 2012
Zach Lederer jokes he was a little “drugged up” when, in his hospital bed, he lifted his arms in a strongman pose, stared resolutely ahead and allowed himself to be photographed.
Bridge Columbia Dominates Budget Hearing - March 15
Is a new iconic structure the key to Columbia's future?
Blandair Park Opens - March 16
Howard County leaders unveiled the first section of Blandair Park in mid-March. "Phase 1" of Blandair Park, on Oakland Mills Road in Columbia, features three synthetic-turf fields, bleachers, press boxes, and a playground.
School Says Intruder in Long Reach Viral Fight Video - March 22
The video is 27 seconds long. In a quick shot at the beginning, a young man wearing khakis and a collared shirt punches another man in the face and knocks him to the ground.
Mistrial Declared in Wael Ali Twin Murder Case
Judge Richard S. Bernhardt declared a mistrial in the murder trial of Wael Ali, 23, accused of killing his twin brother, Wasel, whose decomposing body was found in August 2007 on a secluded pathway behind Green Meadow Drive in Columbia.
Justice Demanded for Trayvon Martin at Columbia Vigil - April 9
County Executive Ken Ulman called Martin's death a tragedy and Sen. Ben Cardin called for an independent investigation.
New Columbia Association Logo Revealed - April 19
The Columbia Association's new logo is a simplified version of the People Tree.
Columbia's Zach Brown Selected 52nd Overall in NFL Draft - April 27
Zach Brown, a former standout athlete at Wilde Lake High School, was drafted by the Tennessee Titans 52nd overall in the NFL Draft in April. Brown shared the moment with friends and family at the Greene Turtle in Columbia.
Donna's in Columbia Closed Suddenly After 10 Years - May 21
Donna's of Columbia closed over the weekend, ending a 10-year run at its location off Snowden River Parkway.
Developers Provide Comprehensive Look at Metropolitan Downtown Columbia - May 22
Developers of a $100 million building proposed for Town Center laid out comprehensive plans for the building, which a Howard County Council member called a "high quality" first step at Howard Community College.
200 Dogs Without Power at Columbia Pet Care Center - July 2
Employees and the 200 dogs they’re currently taking care of at the Preston Country Club for Pets on Old Columbia Pike were entering day three without power after a Derecho stormed through Maryland in late June.
Gallery: Columbia Wegmans Opening Day - June 17
Wegmans, the grocery superstore, officially opened its new Columbia store on June 17, 2012 and thousands of people came out for the 7 a.m. grand opening.
Gallery: Allview Area Civic Association Parade - July 4
Scenes from a community Fourth of July parade at Atholton Park.
Whole Foods to Locate in Downtown Columbia - July 25
After months of speculation, Whole Foods announced in July it signed a lease with Howard Hughes to open a store at the former Rouse Company Headquarters in Downtown Columbia.
- July 25
Representatives from General Growth Properties said the redevelopment of the Mall in Columbia will create a new outdoor experience, filled with outdoor seating for new restaurants, new stores and a pedestrian connection to the Lakefront and the new Warfield area developments. Later in the year, L.L. Bean announced it would close its mall location in May of 2013 to make room for the redevelopment.
Overturned Tractor Trailer Shuts Down 29 South - July 27
All three lanes were blocked for about three hours due to the accident.
Beverage Board Votes Down Wegmans Liquor Store - July 31
Unanimous vote by the Howard County Beverage Board denies liquor license for proposed second-floor liquor store inside Wegmans.
'Suspicious' Package Contained Musical Instrument - Aug. 3
Safety officials who investigated a suspicious package located outside the Owen Brown Interfaith Center determined the package is not of danger: It contained an accordion.
Summer Scenes at Lake Elkhorn - Aug. 14
A beautiful August day made this gallery stand out.
PHOTOS: Fashion and Music at FreeFest 2012 - Oct. 7
An estimated 35,000 people came out to see the likes of Jack White, ZZ Top, Skrillex, Nas and M83 play at Virgin Mobile FreeFest in October.
Poll: Should the Clarksville Funeral Home Be Approved? - Oct. 9
Residents of developments in Clarksville came together in the fall to speak out against a proposed funeral home on Route 108 that they said would harm their quality of life and property values.
Sandy's Aftermath in Columbia - Oct. 30
Scenes from the morning after Superstorm Sandy struck the region.
De Lacy Says She'll Ask 'Tough Questions' as School Board Member
Ann De Lacy, a former Columbia middle school teacher, has a lot of questions about the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and she plans to bring them all to the table as a newly elected member of the Board of Education.
Columbia Father Delivers Surprise Election Day Baby - Nov. 7
At 3 a.m. on Election Day, when most big questions in America were still undecided, a Columbia family confronted what may have been the biggest surprise of all—their daughter.
First Look: Ale House Columbia Now Open - Dec. 11
The Ale House Columbia, a new beer pub, opened its doors to the public on Dec. 11. "It has been an 8-month project," said co-owner Donald Kelly. "But now we're going to be here for 20-plus years. We're happy to be open and be a part of the community."
Columbia Circus School Invites You to Explore Your Inner Clown - Dec. 18
Cue the music... the circus is now in town. Rather, a new circus school is in town. Gregory May, a former Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown, opened Center Ring Circus School in Columbia on Dec. 1 to bring the fun of the circus to the community.
- Dec. 19
Charles Daniels, 73, uses elaborate homemade arches to light up his driveway, hangs massive lighted Christmas trees in varying colors, adorns his lawn with a river of lights, and decorates his house Griswold-style with lights framing windows, doors and the roof.
Thank you for your continued support of Columbia Patch. Have a great 2013 - Andrew Metcalf