James Rada, Jr.
(3/20) For the past few weeks, Diana
Stull’s display for the 4th Annual Thurmont
Restaurant and Business Expo has been taking
shape above her garage. The display’s
prominent feature will be a five-foot-tall
nutcracker soldier dressed in red, white and
“I’m a visual person,” Stull, who owned The
Beauty Parlor in Thurmont, said. “I have to
set it up and see what it’s going to look like
before the show.”
The expo, free to the public, will be in
the two gymnasiums at Catoctin High School on
Friday, March 28 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Approximately 80 Thurmont businesses have
already signed up for booths at the expo,
though by the time of the show, the number
will be close to 100. Last year, more than
1,600 people attended.
“I’ve been told that there are county
chambers of commerce that don’t get that kind
of attendance and participation,” said
Thurmont Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder.
This year’s expo will feature an Americana
theme and will welcome visitors with an
archway made of red, white and balloons. There
will also be entertainment for the first time:
ESP Productions will perform dance numbers and
Holly Rife and Norman Gibat will play music by
Always popular at the expo are the Thurmont
restaurants that give away thousands of
dollars in free food. Already committed for
this year are the Cozy, Mountain Gate,
Shamrock, Kountry Kitchen, Rube’s Crab Shack
and Cool Beans.
“We just like taking some of our best items
up there,” said Pat Ridenour with Thurmont
She has attended two of the three previous
expos and only missed last year’s because of
illness. She sees the expo as a way to let
people know how good her food is. This year,
she said she planning to offer free chicken
salad and coleslaw.
“We did pick up a lot of new customers two
years ago when we were there,” Ridenour said.
Stull said, “It’s great exposure, a great
way to get our name out.”
Grinder said that the town is lucky that
its restaurants are so willing to participate
in the expo. In fact, businesses of all sorts
set up displays from the simple to elaborate
and offer everything from postcards to back
“The main reason that comes to mind for the
expo’s success is that the residents of
Thurmont have their minds open and do believe
in buying local and supporting local
businesses,” Grinder said.
She also noted that the timing for the
expo, at the end of March, works out well.
“I think people are tired of winter by
then,” Grinder commented. “It’s a coming out