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Colorfest draws crowd for unique crafts

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(10/16) The weekend’s weather was perfect for an outdoor festival and Thurmont’s annual Colorfest benefited from it as more than 100,000 people crowded the town’s streets.

Though the festival inconveniences many residents and drives others away for the weekend, Colorfest is a fundraising opportunity that few organizations get alone. The Thurmont Ambulance Company sold 5,400 apple dumplings on Saturday alone, which is about the number it used to sell during an entire Colorfest weekend.
Schools, churches, Boy Scout organizations and civic organizations had their own booths to sell items and raise money.

Michael Hood and his family are from Northern Virginia. The 2008 Colorfest was their second festival for their new company that makes Squid Lids, a fleece hat with longs strips of fleece that hang down the back.

“Our kids swim and we used to do it as a fund raiser,” Hood said.

He was pleased with the sales he was seeing during Colorfest.

More than 1,000 vendors participated in Colorfest selling food, crafts and other items. Unique items included lamb burgers, Ukrainian Easter eggs, robot sculpture and more.

Susan Hilton lives in Emmitsburg, but she grew up in Thurmont. She also returns each year for Colorfest.

“I like to come and see the stuff and the new crafts,” she said.

While she lived in Thurmont, she said the traffic was a hassle during Colorfest, but it was worth the inconvenience.

“Thurmont wouldn’t be same without it. People look forward to it,” Hilton said.

The event, sponsored by Catoctin Colorfest, Inc., donates all proceeds to different organizations and events throughout Thurmont. This year Colorfest sponsored two Thurmont Movie Nights, donated 45 cases of food to the Thurmont Food Bank and will present 22 scholarships to graduating seniors at Catoctin High School, bringing their total scholarship donations to over $120,000.

Before Colorfest opened on Saturday morning, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s press secretary Christine Hansen presented the Thurmont Town Commissioners and Colorfest Vice President Carol Robertson with a proclamation recognizing the festival’s 45th anniversary.

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