James Rada, Jr.
As night fell in Thurmont on October 28, 2017, the gates to Community Park creaked open, and ghouls, ghosts, and monsters swarmed inside for the annual Halloween in the Park event.
Ashley Wivell of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, has come to the event with her children for four years. “It’s different,” she said. “The younger kids were scared at first, but now they enjoy it.”
The night’s activities included magic shows, face painting, and a Halloween egg hunt. A non-scary children’s area featured games and activities, such as Ring-a-Monster, Apple Dip, and Candy Corn Ball Toss. Plenty of food and drink was available, all for the cost of admission ($3.00 and a canned food item for the Thurmont Food Bank).
“We collected a couple truckloads of food last year and were able to make a $1,000 donation to the food bank after expenses,” said Thurmont Commissioner Wayne Hooper, who chairs the town’s special events committee, which has been putting on Halloween in the Park for years.
The event started around twenty years ago, far different from the elaborate production that it is now. “It started way back as pumpkin carving and storytelling,” Hooper said.
It continues to grow every year. The most popular events are the Haunted Hayride, Haunted House, and Little Shop of Horrors. Attendees are more than willing to wait in long lines for a chance to be scared.
“It’s different every year, but I love how they keep some of the same stuff,” said ten-year-old Star Wivell.
All of the events are put together and run by approximately one hundred volunteers.
Nikolene Cole and her daughter, Annika Cordier, were in town from Mechanicsburg. They were wondering what they would do while Annika’s father was getting a tattoo, when they saw a flyer advertising Halloween in the Park. They put together a costume for Annika with items from the Dollar Store and headed out for fun.
“It’s a great event for kids,” Cole said. “We really like the Halloween Egg Hunt.”
Hundreds of attendees were in agreement. They came decked out in costumes to enjoy a fun evening in Thurmont.
Just two of the dozens of awesome customes seen at Thurmont’s Annual Halloween in the Park on October 28, 2017.