Deb Spalding

This year, the Emmitsburg Heritage Day Event was spectacular for visitors and town residents. The volunteers who worked on the Emmitsburg Heritage Day Committee planned all year to make the day a success. The weather was beautiful, the people were happy, and the fireworks were fabulous. Volunteer Jim Houck, Jr., said, “All (members) of our committee are truly dedicated to helping our community, especially the kids, enjoy a day of fun and games.”

Although it was originally an Emmitsburg Lions Club event, it is now a cooperative effort among multiple organizations. It is hoped that the festival will continue in the future with even more involvement from the community. Jennifer Joy, Heritage Day Committee chair, said, “It was a wonderful day because of the involvement and support of all of the town’s civic organizations, businesses, and churches that make this event possible each year. Through their generosity and commitment, we are able to provide fireworks (Emmitsburg Professional Business Association), parade (Sons of the American Legion), music (Knights of Columbus), food (SAL and Lions), field games (Lions), and kids activities (Christ’s Community Church) at the festival.”

Jim Houck and Mike Hartdagen coordinated the parade that followed the traditional route from the Doughboy on West Main Street to the square, then down South Seton Avenue. Houck boasted, “The turnout was great and we had some last-minute surprises in our line up.” The Parade was well attended and had more than forty organizations participate.  Most enjoyed were the ponies and the Harmony Cornet Band, who also regaled with their talents before and after the Memorial Event.

Through a grant from the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, a History Art Contest was held. Coupled with donations from local organizations and donors, $1,100 in prizes was distributed to nine winners in three categories. Art Contest Winners: Elementary Division—1st Prize, Arianna Calhoun, 2nd Prize, Darren Fry, 3rd Prize, Lynzee Davis, and Honorable Mention, Abigail Mae Turner; Middle School Division—1st Prize, Gabrielle Lee Archie, 2nd Prize, Emily Grace Williams, 3rd Prize, Shae Lynn Archie Fuller, and Honorable Mention, Marques Miller; High School Division—1st Prize, Eli Fryer.

A beach week raffle was also held as a fundraiser for next year’s event, and the winner was local resident, Kendall Moore, from Pembrook Woods. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to the Moore family!

At the Memorial event, all were touched by guest speaker, Brenda Sheaffer’s, story as someone with severe learning disabilities who struggled to make a living and be considered a contributor to society. With the help of Melwood, a non-profit organization, she has now been able to hold a position as a custodian at the National Zoo and the Auditors Building, before earning a security clearance to work at the White House complex. Also at the Memorial event, responders to Emmitsburg’s three major fires were honored and thanked for their service. Parade awards were given to “Best In” categories, and Art contest awards were given out to winners.

At the Bandstand, Miriam Warther of Fairfield, Synergy (a girl group from the Let there be Rock School of Frederick), Screaming Melina’s from Pennsylvania, and Jellyfish Jam Band (from Emmitsburg) entertained the crowd.

Sack Race winners were: Singles—Andy Walters and Addy Dodson (ages 1-4), Landon Miller and Blake Cool (ages 5-8), Joshua Wantz and Deondre Febus (ages 9-12), Josh Maze and Jayson Howard (ages 13-16), Jack McCarthy/Dave Zentz (tie) and Davey Ott (ages 17 and older); Doubles—Addie Dobson/Tierney Burns and Alyse Scarzello/Andy Walters (ages 1-4), Josh Hahn/Savannah Phebus and Robert Upchurch/Annelle Upchurch (ages 5-8), Deandre Febus/Adrian Febus and Helen Hochschild/Violet Walker (ages 9-12), McKenna Stambaugh/Alexis Cool and Cheyene Marsee/Carmella Ogle (ages 13-16), and Nathan Fritz/Brittany Fritz and Kacie Boyle/Wendy Gray (ages 17 and older).

Egg Toss winners were Kimberly Shields and Kathy Shields.

Water Balloon Toss winners were Steve Wantz, Sr. and Steve Wantz III, who tied with Dave Shields and Dave Shields Jr.

Pie Eating Contest winners were Andy Walters and Felicity Phelan (up to 4 years), Robert Upchurch and Lucien Ridenour and Josh Hahn (ages 5-8), Nate Snyder and Krystal Lane (ages 9-12), Jordan Ebaugh and John Lane (ages 13-16), and Jack McCarthy (ages 17 and older).

Watermelon Eating Contest winners were Cassie Click and Cora Krom (up to 4 years); Sarah Lagare, Thomas Love, and Robert Upchurch (ages 5-8); Krystal Lane, Matthew Know, Deandre Febus, and Nate Snyder (ages 9-12); Danielle Wilson, Hannah Kaas, and Caeley McVearry (ages 13-16); and Jack McCarthy and Jared Suit (ages 17 and older).

Casting Contest winners were Trinity Mahon (up to 4 years), Charlie Scarzell (ages 5-8), C.J. Upchurch (ages 9-12), and Jared Suit (ages 17 and older).

Car Show winners were: Best In Show Overall—Brenda Titman; Truck Division: 1st  Place—Steven Kimmel, 2nd Place—Jean Eyler, 3rd Place—Paul Best; Motorcycle: 1st Place—Robert Droneburg, 2nd Place—Wade Droneburg; Car Division: 1st Place—Stephen Kupick, 2nd Place—Greg Parry, 3rd Place—Brenda Titman, and 4th Place—Jim Hoover.

The Friends of the Emmitsburg Library held their annual book sale.  The Friends raised over $560 to support library programs and the Summer Reading Program.

Next year, the committee hopes to have a carnival and some additional attractions during the event. If anyone is interested in participating or getting involved in the planning of next year’s event, please contact Jennifer Joy at 301-447-6467 or Clifford Sweeney 301-447-1712 or email

Brandon Burris, Savannah Phebus, and Jayson Howard were some of the game winners during Emmitsburg Heritage Day on June 25, 2016.

Photo by Stephanie Freniere


Participants in the Pie Eating Contest enjoyed the game and the sweets.

Photo by Stephanie Freniere


Around 5:15 p.m., families began lining the streets, eagerly awaiting the parade to begin, a much-anticipated event each year.

Photo by Gracie Eyler

Emmitsburg Sons of the American Legion’s Mike Hartdagen presented the Vigilant Hose Company’s Jimmy Click with a plaque of appreciation for their quick response to the house fires in Emmitsburg this past year.

Photo by Gracie Eyler


Greased Pig Chase winners were Savannah Phebus (ages 1-6 years), Mathew Knox (7-11), Jayson Howard (12-16), and Brandon Burris (17 and older).

Photo by Stephanie Freniere


Group shot of some of the riders from Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE), who participated in the mountain bike group rides on the Multi User Trail on Community Heritage Day.

Courtesy Photo





James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg’s version of Cape Canaveral is Memorial Park. Once a month this summer, Frederick County deputies and youths will meet to build model rockets and send them soaring into the air over Emmitsburg.

“It’s a great project and a lot of fun,” said Deputy Travis Rohrer, one of Emmitsburg’s resident deputies.

The rocket club is called the Jim Moxley Memorial Rocket Club, and is named after a former Emmitsburg resident deputy who died last year. Moxley ran a model rocket club from 2003-2005. The club would meet an hour a week to work on their rockets and then they would be launched on Heritage Day.

“DFC Whitehouse and I decided to bring back the rocket club as a special project directed towards the kids in the community, and to honor Moxley’s service,” Rohrer said.

The new rocket club meets once a month on Sunday afternoon for three hours. During that time, youths, eight to twelve years old, build their rockets and launch them. The Emmitsburg deputies pay for all the materials to build the rockets.

The first meeting of the club was on May 22, 2016, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Eight children attended. Older and younger participants are allowed, although parents need to stay for the meeting to help their younger children.

“It was a huge success despite the rainy weather,” Rohrer said. “I believe we shot off a total of ten rockets.”

Not only do the youths get to have fun, Rohrer said it was a good way for the children to interact with law enforcement in the right light. They come to see the deputies as friends they can trust, rather than someone to be seen as unapproachable or scary.

Information on future meetings can be found on the town’s website at Click on Government and then Community Deputies. Questions can be e-mailed to

The Jim Moxley Memorial Rocket Club, named after a former Emmistburg resident deputy who passed away last year, is pictured with Dfc Whitehouse and Deputy Travis Rohrer

Allison Rostad

It has been said before that true heroes never die. These words were proven during a memorial for Marine Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell of North Carolina. Cpl. Ferrell grew to call the Thurmont community his second family, as he was assigned to the naval support facility at Camp David.

On September 29, 2015, Ferrell was a victim of a hit-and-run while pulled over on Route 15 north bound to lend his assistance to a stranded motorist in a heavy rain storm.

On the morning of June 11, 2016, just four months shy of one year since Ferrell’s death, the Thurmont community, along with Ferrell’s family, friends, and his North Carolina hometown community, gathered for a dedication ceremony at Memorial Park in Thurmont, hosted by the Thurmont American Legion.

During the ceremony, guest speaker, David Wood, expressed with admiration, “That day, Cpl. Ferrell wasn’t ordered to pull over and help, but he did what any non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps does: He led by example.”

This same notion echoed through every word spoken about Ferrell during the ceremony.

Congressional Candidate Daniel Cox said, “We understand that this Marine is a hero, because not only did he serve when not required to, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for it.”

Prior to the completion of the ceremony, a pin oak tree had been planted and dedicated to Ferrell in Memorial Park, along with a new highway sign revealed, dedicating the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge to Ferrell in honor of his selflessness, kindness, and dedication to helping those in need. His parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, were also given a smaller, exact replica of the dedication sign to be taken home with them to Carthage, North Carolina.

Following the ceremony, a pig roast was held at the American Legion, from which all proceeds were donated to the Carthage Police Department in North Carolina, in Ferrell’s name.

Just as Emily Potter once said, “Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footprints,” so will Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell live on eternally in the hearts and minds of his loved ones, the Thurmont community, and those who travel Route 15 northbound through Thurmont.

Photos by Allison Rostad

Sgt. Tyler Bergeron, who served with Cpl. Ferrell, presents Cpl. Ferrell’s parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, a scale replica of the dedicated footbridge sign.

The sign reveal for the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge that spans across Rt. 15, in honor of Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell.



June 2016

by James Rada, Jr.


FY2017 Budget Approved

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved a $3.2-million budget that went into effect on July 1. The budget includes $1,687,388 in the general fund, $621,618 in the water fund, and $921,792 in the sewer fund. The general fund includes $247,950 for police protection, $355,492 for public works for streets, $136, 996 for trash collection, and $184,358 for parks.

The budget is available for review at the town’s web site or at the town office.

Burning Ban In Effect

The annual burning ban went into effect on June 1, and will run through August 31. During this time, no outdoor burning is permitted. For additional information about the ban, call Frederick County Community Services at 301-600-1717.

Food Bank Summer Drop-Offs

The Emmitsburg Food Bank at 502 East Main Street has scheduled its monthly food drop-offs for the summer. The drop-offs happen from 3:00-6:00 p.m.: Wednesday, July 13; Wednesday, August 17; and Wednesday, September 14.

The food bank also needs volunteers. If you are interested in helping, call 717-642-6963.

Haller Retires

Town Manager Dave Haller retired at the end of June. At his final town meeting, he was presented with a plaque, recognizing his eighteen years of service to Emmitsburg.

For more information on the town of Emmitsburg, visit or call 301-600-6300.


Commissioners Approve Budget

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a $12-million budget for FY2017. The budget went into effect on July 1. Nearly half of this amount comes from the electric fund, while the town’s general operating expenses make up $3.4 million. The water and wastewater funds make up the difference.

“I believe that we have a workable budget that we just need to approve,” Mayor John Kinnaird said during the meeting to approve the budget.

Moser Road Bridge Closed

The Moser Road Bridge has been closed to allow for the final improvement work to be done. Signs are posted near the route, indicating detours around the bridge. Please be aware of these changes.

Board of Appeals Member Appointed

Richard Lee was appointed to the Thurmont Board of Appeals by a unanimous vote.

For more information on the town of Thurmont, visit or call the town office at 301-271-7313.


The Thurmont Thespians Closes its Final Season with a 1980s-themed Musical

The Thurmont Thespians, a local theater company based in Thurmont, will mount its final show, Footloose, at the Thurmont American Legion, ending its three-shows-a-season format after eighteen years of local productions. The musical is based off of the 1984 movie, Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon, and features some of the most iconic songs from the 1980s, including “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler and “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.

The Thurmont Thespians performed their first show, He Lived a Good Life, in 1998, under the direction of the foundress, Beth Watson. Watson and her husband, Spence, started the Thurmont Thespians to give local youth and adults the opportunity to participate in all stages of theater, from performance, to set design, to fundraising.

“We want the kids to really know what it takes to put on a show—how much work there is going on behind the scenes,” said Watson.

The Thespians selected Footloose as its final show for its great music and upbeat spirit. “It’s going to be bittersweet, saying goodbye to a group that influenced not only me, but countless other local children,” said Rosalyn Smaldone, a 2016 graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University and the director of the show.

Bridey Puvel and Dan Miller, both of Thurmont, star as the leads in the show. Puvel is studying Music Therapy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Miller is a sophomore at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Both expressed sorrow that the theater company is closing, but also excitement for the show. “I’ve loved being a member of the Thespians. We are putting our best efforts forward to have a great last show,” expressed Puvel.

Footloose will be performed at the Thurmont American Legion on the following dates and times: July 21-23 and July 28-30, at 7:30 p.m.; July 24 and 31 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and can be reserved in advance or purchased at the door. The Legion is located at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont. Call 301-271-7613 for tickets. View the advertisement on page 15.

The Thurmont Thespians cast of Footloose- Back row (left to right): Rachel Johnson, Veronica Smaldone, Nathan Kopit, Daniel Miller, Sean Miller, Elijah Miller, Evelyn Pecher, Alissa Zentz, Adrianna Bussey; Second row (left to right): Mallory Donaghue, Samantha Nigida, Nicholas Miller, Maddi Tatum, Addison Eyler, Faith Davis, Sara Street, Tara O’Donnell; Third row (left to right): Isabella Scott, Daniel Puckett, Sammy Royer, Katelin Pinnell, Erin Kopit, Karsyn Shugars, Annabelle Perry.

A Cornhole Tournament, benefiting the Thurmont Guardian Hose Company, will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2016, at the Thurmont Carnival Grounds. Event features handmade cornhole board raffle, tip jars, music, and more!

Catoctin Breeze Vineyard in Thurmont is hosting many not-to-be-missed upcoming events, including Birds of Prey on July 10; Wine and Wheels Car Show on July 16, and Shriners Hospital Pig Roast Benefit on July 23, along with many dates in July featuring live music to which you can bring your own picnic and enjoy!

Don’t miss Music on the Deck Bluegrass Series at Thurmont Regional Library on Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Music on the Deck will feature Canaan’s Land Bluegrass, a sprinkling of gospel and new-era sounds. In August, Music on the Deck will feature The Plate Scrapers, high-energy string music.

A Public Auction will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016, at 9:00 a.m., at 15029 Grimes Road in Emmitsburg. This not-to-miss auction features a like-new 2006 John Deere diesel tractor, a 1999 Ford F150 4×4 pickup truck, golf carts, hand tools, furniture, and much more! Lunch served by Tom’s Creek Methodist Church.