(4/5) Thurmont business owners and members
of the community flooded the two gymnasiums
and lobby of Catoctin High School on the
evening of March 30, for the Third Annual
Thurmont Business Expo.
Thurmont Commissioner Bill Blakeslee believes that this year’s expo drew in
around 1,600 patrons, if not more. “It was virtually impossible to get an exact
number. We had people coming and going from multiple entrances,” he said.
The Thurmont Economic Development Commission established the expo in 2005 to
emphasize local businesses in the area. This year’s theme, Hawaiian luau, was a
hit among both exhibitors and spectators. Diana Stull, owner of The Beauty
Shop, was dressed in complete Hawaiian attire as she handed out floral hair
pins to guests.
“I came to see what the local businesses have to offer. The theme is so fun
and is really put together,” said Laura Hobbs of Thurmont.
Dr. Richard B. Love D.D.S. and his associates spent the evening speaking
with members of the community, and even some of their current patients, while
handing out toothbrushes and bottles of mouthwash. “A lot of people are
inclined to go down the road to find quality service. What people don’t realize
is that we offer that same quality service in our small town,” he said. Adding,
“It’s great to see faces that you know and have the ability to call each
individual by name. It’s the hometown touch.”
“We really enjoy coming to the expo; we’ve even found a few businesses that
we never knew existed,” said Thurmont local Darlene Sharer. Her husband, Rich
Sharer, added, “It’s a great way to re-familiarize yourself with the
Another exhibitor, John Nickerson, owner of Gnarly Art Design Shop presented
samples of his work, as well as photographs of projects past. “I’ve been living
here for so long, but I do work all over Maryland. I thought I would show my
face in my own town for a change,” he said.
Businesses weren’t the only ones to find their niche at the expo,
fundraisers were found to support members of the Thurmont community. Catoctin
High School senior Samantha Keeney took the opportunity to solicit donations
for her senior project, a fundraiser to benefit a toddler with severe medical
bills; as did the Thurmont Lions Club, who collected for Catoctin senior Casey
Many local restaurant and eateries offered an array of samplings to patrons,
including smoothies from Cool Beans, and crab dip from the Shamrock restaurant.
Catoctin High School has become the unofficial home to the expo after the
event outgrew the American Legion within two hours of the first expo.