Currently viewing the tag: "community Park"

James Rada, Jr.

colorfest 7The incessant rain on Saturday morning, October 11, 2014, gave way to a cloudy day in the afternoon, transitioning into a sunny, more pleasant day on Sunday for the 51st Annual Colorfest weekend in Thurmont.

The crowds picked up as people turned out for unusual food like Southern-fried Snickers and one-of-a-kind gifts like robot sculptures made from scrap metal by Don Rea. In between, they browsed yard sales or listened to live music being played in front of the town office.

“The crowd started out light because of the rain, but people still came carrying their umbrellas and wearing their ponchos,” said Carol Robertson with Catoctin Colorfest.

The heart of the festival is the 240 juried exhibitors in the Community Park, although booths and vendors could be found throughout Thurmont, along roads, at the carnival grounds, around the American Legion, among others.

Janet Randall and her friend, Rusty, each pulled a collapsible wagon through Community Park looking to fill them with gifts. Randall’s big purchase had been an antique sewing machine that was decorated so that it was more of a craft item than an antique.

Randall said she comes to Colorfest from West River, Maryland, because of all the different crafters who display their goods. She calls all of the craft shows near her home “yard sales” in comparison.

colorfest 4“We’ll have to sneak all this stuff into the house so our husbands won’t see,” Randall said.

While Colorfest was a destination for Randall, Greg Teague and his wife, Beth, just happened to stop in.

“We were going to Gettysburg and were passing by and my wife said that it didn’t look too crowded,” Teague said.

So they parked and began shopping. For Teague, who lives in Frederick, it was his first visit to the festival.

“They have a lot of stuff here,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger than it looks.”

Beth added, “You can get visual overload from everything there is to see.”

It was author Bob O’Connor’s first time at the festival, too, and he was selling his historical novels and history books in Community Park.

colorfest 2“It’s a big crowd here, and they seem like they’re in a spending mood,” O’Connor said. “I mean when you see people walking around with wagons and carts, they are obviously looking to buy.”

Sharon Dustin is a regular visitor to Colorfest. Although she lives in Bowie, she’s been visiting each year for thirty years. It’s a family outing for them. In fact, her granddaughter, Alexis, first came to Colorfest when she was only three weeks old.

“I really like looking at all the stuff that people make,” Dustin said.

Set up for Colorfest begins during the week leading up to the event, with much of it taking place on the Friday before.

“It’s like a little city gets built here in a couple days,” Robertson said. “There are banks with ATMs. The post office is here. The food vendors are restaurants and the other vendors are the businesses.

On average, about 100,000 people visit Colorfest each year.

“The atmosphere of the quaint town of Thurmont, with a population of 6,000 residents, changes every year during the second weekend of October when the festivities of the annual Catoctin Colorfest take place,” states the Catoctin Colorfest website.


Halloween Activities – October 25 and October 31

Halloween in the Park activities will take place on October 25, 2014,  at the Thurmont Community Park.  Activities will start at approximately 6:30 p.m. that will include snacks and treats for the kids, along with a Haunted Park theme.  The regular trick-or-treating for the kids will still be held on October 31, from 6:00-7:30 p.m.  Town officials ask that people who want to participate turn on their porch lights. Also, parents are asked to take precautions with kids around the current sidewalk construction that is taking place along the main streets while trick or treating.


Town Approves Purchase of Land for Community Park

Town officials approved plans to purchase land to enlarge the Community Park area. Land surrounding the area east of Route 15 and on the south side of Hunting Creek will be purchased from the current land owner for $6,000. The purchase will be paid for via funds received from the Program Open Space that awarded Thurmont with $20,000 to improve the green space area for the town.


Dog Park Planned at East End Park

Other funds for the Program Open Space will be spent on a dog park, located at East End Park.  Construction will start soon on a 7,000 sq. foot fenced-in area. Two separate areas will be set up to accommodate small dogs in one area and larger dogs in another area.  The dogs will get to enjoy some structures built for climbing. Dog litter receptacles will be provided, along with benches and tables for the owners of the dogs.


Colorfest is Almost Here – October 11-12

Thurmont will again host the largest arts and crafts show in the state of Maryland, Colorfest. Town officials want to give all residents a heads-up to prepare for the crowds coming our way for Colorfest. The ambulance and fire companies, local dance studios, boy scouts, girl scouts, and many more will participate with fundraisers. Many yards sales will also be set up that week and weekend. For any permit questions involving the Colorfest, please call the town office.

View the Town of Thurmont’s website at or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.


Approval on Water Bill Ordinance

Town officials approved an ordinance that would address issues with excessive water bills or questionable meter readings for citizens and/or businesses. If a citizen receives a water bill that is excessive, they can now appeal their bill to the town. Based on details of the appeal, a person or business might be allowed to pay their average water bill amount (average of past three years) instead of the excessive bill they received.


Silo Hill Gets New Playground

Playground equipment that is ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant will be installed at the Silo Hill playground area. The playground is funded through a grant to the town. The playground equipment will be installed within the next couple of months.


Bulk Trash Pick-up — October 11

Bulk Trash Pick-up is on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Acceptable items: (2 items max per household) dehumidifiers & humidifiers; washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves, ovens, etc.; tables, chairs, sofas, toilets, tubs and sinks, exercise equipment; pianos, computers, cabinets, and dressers; furnaces, lawn furniture, water heaters, picnic tables and carpet (max. 3 rolls); air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers (must have certified tag of Freon removed NO TAG = NO PICK UP); lawn mowers (remove gas and oil); gas grills (remove propane tank).


Light in the Park Fall Fest — October 3

The Community Fall Fest “Light in the Park” is Friday, October 3, 2014, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. This event is a family-oriented celebration, sponsored by local churches. Event features free food, free Moon bounce, photo booth, face painting, a barrel train, and other family treats. For more information, call 301-447-4224.

For more information about the Town of Emmitsburg, view the town’s website at or call the town office at 301-600-6300.

by Valerie and Randy Nusbaum

Jim Rada -Column-Colorfest 001The Catoctin Colorfest started in 1963 as a nature walk led by Thurmont’s own John Brown to view the beautiful fall colors , but Catoctin Colorfest has grown into a nationally-recognized juried arts and crafts show.  Artists, vendors and shoppers from all over the country flock to Thurmont on the second weekend in October each year to sell, browse, shop and eat.

This year, on October 12 and 13, Catoctin Colorfest will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  Commemorative 50th anniversary wooden ornaments will be available for purchase at the Colorfest information booths located in the Community Park. The ornaments were designed and hand-made by Colorfest board member Mac Ancarrow.

Catoctin Colorfest has proudly served the Thurmont community for the past fifty years by awarding scholarships to graduating students at Catoctin High School.  Scholarship donations total more than $140,000 since the scholarships were established.  In addition, Colorfest regularly donates funds to the Guardian Hose Company, Thurmont Community Ambulance, the Thurmont Police Department, the Thurmont Public Library, and the Thurmont Food Bank.  Colorfest has furnished holiday decorations to the town of Thurmont, and purchased benches and the flag pole for the Community Park, as well as sponsoring the Family Movie Night in the summer, and participating in the children’s Halloween party in October.   The new sign at the Thurmont town office was donated by Catoctin Colorfest.

Each year, the event is organized and executed by a team of volunteers, headed by current Colorfest President, Carol Robertson.  The group begins preparations for the next year’s show as soon as the current show ends, and works throughout the year processing and jurying applications, preparing advertising materials, and readying the Community Park for the show.  Donations and gifts are awarded annually at the Catoctin Colorfest banquet held in November, but Colorfest continues to help out both the town of Thurmont and individuals or organizations in need throughout the year.  Cash and food donations to the Thurmont Food Bank have totaled more than $13,000 over the last two years.  For some local churches, and for the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company, Colorfest is their biggest fundraiser.  The Ambulance Company reported sales of over 4,000 apple dumplings last year.

Current President Carol Robertson has been with the organization for more than twenty years.  She joined the organization when Beverly Zienda was President, and the two of them worked together to build Colorfest into the event it is today.  For Carol, the best part of being involved with Colorfest is being in a position to fill a need in the community, whatever that need may be.   Officers and Directors of Catoctin Colorfest for the 2013 season are Thurmont-area residents Mac Ancarrow, Randy Falchick, Kathy Myrick, Randy Nusbaum,  Nancy Mooney, Ted Zimmerman, John Corkran, and Terri Bouchillon.

Robertson says, “On Saturday morning, after all the vendors are set up and opening their tents it’s as though a whole village is coming to life.  I look around the park and I think ‘Well, we made it through another year.’”  Many Colorfest vendors come back year after year, with one couple, Carol & Steve Newman, recently celebrating their 40th consecutive year of selling at the popular outdoor festival.

Whether your taste runs to fine art or needlework, woodworking or candles, or if you enjoy sniffing potpourri or sampling food items, Catoctin Colorfest has something for you.  Stained glass, tole painting, hand-made soaps – if you can imagine it, it’s probably being sold at Colorfest.  This year, as you’re attending Catoctin Colorfest and munching on something fried on a stick, we hope you’ll remember all the work that goes into this show, and all the good that comes out of it.  As Carol Robertson says, “When I look out into the street and see that crowd, I know we’ve thrown one heck of a party and everybody came!