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Despite rainy days, crafters say
Colorfest has successful year

Ingrid Mezo
The Gazette

(10/13) Teresa Groff and Ed Zimmerman arrange the bears they made to sell at Catoctin Colorfest in Thurmont on Sunday. The bears sell for between $100 and $625 each, and sold well during the rainy weekend.

Despite the rain this year, visitors packed the streets of Thurmont to visit Catoctin Colorfest, especially on Sunday.

Vendors may not have sold as much as they have in years past, but they still were able to attract buyers.

‘‘We had a wonderful turnout despite the rain," Catoctin Colorfest President Beverly Zienda said. ‘‘Overall, I think it went very well, and we’re very pleased."

Some die-hard craft fans even came out during the downpour at 7:30 a.m., Saturday morning to visit Carol and Bill Robertson’s stand, where they bought gourds and pumpkins for Halloween or picked up some of the painted items and dried flowers for sale, Carol Robertson said.

Many of the visitors who came were from out of town and had made plans well in advance to attend Colorfest.

Gerri and Karl Stetter flew all the way from the St. Petersburg area in Florida to visit Colorfest. The Stetters came to the event for the first time last year when their son gave them the trip as a gift.

‘‘We loved it, so we came back," Gerri Stetter said. ‘‘It was just the highlight of my year last year. It’s a good place to do your Christmas shopping."

Despite getting soaking wet on Saturday, the Stetters still managed to accumulate enough crafts to fill their motel room. On Sunday, they came back for more.

‘‘We have to worry about how we’re going to get on the plane with this all," Karl said.

Michelle Beckly of Thurmont has been coming to Colorfest for 15 years and loads up with crafts every year. A veteran Colorfest connoisseur, Beckly knows transportation of her purchases can be a problem. She came equipped with a red toy wagon this year, which she pulled behind her to get the armloads of things she bought back to the car. By the time Colorfest wound down on Sunday, the wagon was overflowing with craft items she bought as Christmas presents.

‘‘Two for me, one for them," Beckly joked. ‘‘I had to take the first load to the car, it was falling off the sides."

Cousins Sara Rice, 13, of Thurmont and Alexis Heart, 14, of Fairfield, Pa., came out mostly just to browse through the stands, and visit some of the yard sales held throughout the town. Sara walked through town with Bobcat whiskers painted on her face, while Alexis wore hearts.

Although some vendors opted not to open up Saturday, those who did were pleasantly surprised with the number of customers they attracted.

Teresa Groff and Ed Zimmerman sold homemade clown dolls and teddy bears at their stand, and were open for business Saturday.

The bears are made out of mohair, which can cost about $200 per yard, Groff said. They are jointed and styled in an antique look, and grumble when you tilt them back.

‘‘These are artist’s bears," Groff said. ‘‘No one is exactly alike, and we sign and date them when they’re sold."

The bears sell for between $100 and $625 each, and by the end of business Sunday, they had sold three bears and three clown dolls.

Wooden trashcans were a hit at Jim Doyle’s wood furniture stand, and he had 60 customers on Saturday alone.

‘‘The rain didn’t really dampen anything," Doyle said. ‘‘It was almost as good a day as if the sun was shining."

Doyle has been coming to the Catoctin Colorfest for nine years, and said that he managed to sell as much as he expected this year.

For more information on the annual Colorfest celebration, visit www.colorfest.org.

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