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Colorfest earnings way down this year

Ingrid Mezo
The Gazette

(12/22) Commissioner Ron Terpko told other town officials at the town meeting Tuesday night that the final Colorfest figures for this year were in, and they were ‘‘not pretty."

Colorfest is an annual juried arts and crafts show conducted in the town each October, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Hundreds of vendors participate, and the main town streets are closed down to become walkways for visitors. Food stands line the roads, and many residents hold yard sales throughout the town.

The town pays for security services, public toilets and town labor and charges permitting fees to make up for its costs. This year costs were much higher due to an increase in fuel, labor and other costs.

Attendance at the town’s annual event was much lower this year due to a rainy weekend, and the town ended up with an $8,200 deficit this year, rather than turning a profit as it has in the past.

Colorfest Inc., the company that conducts all the advertising for the event and books the vendors, usually writes a check for the deficit if there is one, but told the town’s Colorfest Committee that they might not be able to cover the entire cost this year.

Robbery prompts town’s help

Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler informed town officials at Tuesday’s town meeting that he has drafted a document containing tips for business owners to avoid becoming the victims of robberies.

Two armed suspects held up the Thurmont Blockbuster on Sunday, Eyler said, stealing an undisclosed amount of cash.

Since then, a store spokesperson told Eyler that it would change its closing time to match that of other stores in the center because the video store was the only business open at the time of the robbery.

Commissioner Terpko suggested the town help out businesses by providing safety tips and suggesting the installation of brighter lighting in the center in which the store is located to deter future robberies there. Other board members agreed that brighter lights in the center would be a good idea. Mayor Martin Burns said he would draft a letter from the town to business owners in the center making that suggestion, and offering the town’s support.

Police get $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart

Also during the meeting Tuesday, Mayor Burns presented Chief Eyler with a $1,000 check from Wal-Mart, which the town procured for the police department through its grant writer, James Castle of Castle Consulting in Frederick.

The police department will use the funds toward the planning and construction of its new police building.

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