Currently viewing the tag: "Town of Thurmont"

The Town of Thurmont is in the process of updating its Emergency Preparedness Plan. As part of this plan, they are creating a database to assist those residents who would require special assistance in the event of an emergency. 

This information will be forwarded to our local emergency service agencies in the area. These forms have been sent out in the Utility bills and are also available by visiting  Once completed please return these forms to the Town Office.

Wreaths Across America is an annual collaborative that honors our nation’s veterans around the holidays by placing wreaths on their graves.

Several organizations went to work to transport, deliver, unload, and distribute wreaths in the Thurmont area on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. A Sheetz truck delivered 72 boxes containing 12 wreaths per box for a total of 864 wreaths to volunteers representing the Thurmont Lions Club, the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, the American Legion Post 168, the Town of Thurmont, Cub Scout Troop 279, and Pack 270. The wreaths were unloaded, prepared for distribution, and delivered to local cemeteries.

Pictured left to right are: April Fordham, Alex Dankanich (American Legion), Mark Resch (Pack 270), Jimmy Best with Parker Best (Troop 270) and Aubrey Best (Pack 270), Allen Middendorff (Thurmont Lions Club), Jim Robbin’s, Brian Glass, Buz Mackley, and John Byrne (American Legion).

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

The Town of Thurmont will be replacing the water and sewer mains along North Church Street in Thurmont, from Boundary Avenue to Catoctin High School. 

The project will began on October 18, and is expected to take six to nine months to complete. Contractors will be working Monday through Thursday each week, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. If the project requires any work outside of these weekdays, notifications will be posted on the town’s Facebook page, website (, and local Comcast cable channel 99.   

Single lane closures and flagging operations will be in place, and drivers should expect delays or consider alternative routes. The town will continue to work with the contractor to reduce impacts as much as possible, while still maintaining the construction schedule. Drivers are asked to use caution in the construction zone and pay close attention to flaggers and workers.

For the eighth consecutive year, the Town of Thurmont has been recognized as a Banner City/Town by the Maryland Municipal League. Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick accepted this prestigious award at the Maryland Municipal League (MML) Summer Conference on June 27 in Ocean City.

Paula Chase Hyman, MML Director of Member Engagement, stated, “Congratulations to the 46 municipalities that received their 2023 Banner City/Town designation. Banner cities and towns are the League’s most engaged municipalities.”

Thurmont was recognized again based upon the following achievements during 2022 and 2023: Attended the 2022 Summer and Fall Conferences; Set up an exhibit on Municipal Main Street at the Summer Conference; Attended the Maryland Mayors Winter Conference; Attended and actively participated in Frederick County MML chapter’s events; Conducted a school visit to educate students of all ages on local government; Hosted the “If I Were Mayor” essay contest for fourth-grade students at Thurmont Elementary School and recognized the winners at a Town meeting; Town officials and staff are enrolled in and/or graduated from the Academy for Excellence in Local Government; Approved a Proclamation recognizing Municipal Government Works month in November and held an Open House at the Municipal Offices.

“I am very pleased and proud that we have once again achieved this recognition in MM L’s Banner City/Town program,” said Mayor John Kinnaird. “Our dedicated Town staff and my fellow elected colleagues will continue to work hard to provide the best and most efficient services to our residents, and maintain this important accreditation.”

The Town of Thurmont authorized retaining the law firms of Baron & Budd and Poole Law Group for the purpose of investigating legal options and remedies available to it due to the presence of “aqueous film forming foam” or “AFFF” and/or other products containing perfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) (including perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA” or “C8”), perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”), and other related compounds in the town’s water system. 

Such investigation may include the initiation of a complaint in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL), currently pending in Charleston, South Carolina, related to this chemical. 

Thurmont has and will continue to meet all federal and state guidelines for safe drinking water. It has and will continue to protect its citizens. This action is a prudent effort to proactively determine whether third parties have legal responsibility for the cost of treatment for its water system; the taxpayers and ratepayers should not bear this financial burden. The town will continue to exhaust all efforts to protect its citizens and exercise financial prudence in the process. 

For further information on PFAS, visit

For the seventh consecutive year, the Town of Thurmont has been recognized as a Tree City USA.

To become a Tree City USA, a community must have: A tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation. The Thurmont Green Team, Thurmont Parks and Recreation Commission, Town staff, and other community organizations hold tree planting events throughout the year. Since 2014, the Town of Thurmont has planted close to 1,000 trees.

“I am very pleased that we have achieved this level of tree care here in Thurmont,” said Mayor John Kinnaird. “Our staff and volunteers have done a great job planting trees, maintaining them, and working hard to ensure that our trees remain healthy for future generations.”

The town is currently working on tree planting projects that are affiliated with the 5 Million Trees Program, sponsored by the Maryland Forest Service. A tree planting project at Carroll Street Park is being planned for this spring.

The Town of Thurmont has placed its first all-electric fleet vehicle into service. The 2023 Chevy Bolt was purchased from Criswell Chevrolet in Thurmont in October. Partial funding for the vehicle purchase comes from a Maryland Smart Energy Grant from the Maryland Energy Administration. The new vehicle is assigned to the Town of Thurmont Municipal Offices and will be utilized by office staff for administrative functions.

“As a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community and a Smart Energy Community, sustainability is a vital component of the job that we do,” said Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick. “This new electric vehicle is another way we can continue to achieve these lofty sustainability goals and objectives.”

The town also received grant funding for two electric vehicle charging stations from the Maryland Charge Ahead Grant Program, which is funded through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. These charging stations are located at the Municipal Offices and the Thurmont Police Department and are for town employees and fleet vehicles only. The town plans to apply for additional grant funding later this year to purchase and install electric vehicle charging stations for public use.

Pictured from left are Becky Long, Thurmont Senior Administrative Assistant; Jim Humerick, Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer; Doug Martin, General Manager — Criswell Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram of Thurmont; Linda Joyce, Thurmont Chief Financial Officer; Clayton Kennedy, New Vehicle Sales — Criswell Chevrolet of Thurmont

The Town of Thurmont and the Town of Emmitsburg alternate years on hosting a flag retirement ceremony.

This year, the ceremony was held at Memorial Park in Thurmont, hosted by The American Legion Post 168. After folding hundreds of flags, to include a large Criswell flag (pictured), the Scouts lined up to properly retire our nations colors with honor.

Scouts BSA Troop 1011, 270B & G, Cub Scout Pack 270, Venturing Crew 270, and Girl Scout Troop 81178.

The Town of Thurmont has been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach™.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” said Patrice Frey, president & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These Accredited Main Street programs have proven to be powerful engines for revitalization by sparking impressive economic returns and preserving the character of their communities. During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process.”

In 2019 alone, $6.45 billion of public and private reinvestment was generated, 6,466 net new businesses were opened, 32,316 net new jobs were created, and 10,412 buildings were rehabilitated in Main Street America communities.

“The benefits that we receive from being a nationally accredited Main Street program are a vital component of the critical services the Town of Thurmont provides to our community” stated Jim Humerick, chief administrative officer.  “We are proud to be a Main Street community since 2005 and equally proud of the work we’ve accomplished so far.”

The Town of Thurmont’s performance is evaluated by the State of Maryland Main Street under the Department of Community Housing and Development, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet ten rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

Since Thurmont’s 2005 designation, the work of Thurmont Main Street has resulted in: $1 million in 57 private investment projects; $676,985 in 26 public improvement projects; 46 new businesses; 138 jobs created; 17,290 volunteer hours valued at $439,685; grants received $760,205.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $85.43 billion in new public and private investment, generated 672,333 net new jobs and 150,079 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 295,348 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Vickie Grinder

In November, the Town of Thurmont presented Patty Hurwitz from the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Health a check for $15,300 from the 7th Annual Gateway To The Cure Campaign!

The Gateway To The Cure included a 5K, Golf Tournament, purchasing pinwheels for our Garden of Love, a Pink Pumpkin contest, selling Gateway To The Cure merchandise, receiving private donations from residents, and selling pink light bulbs.

Last but not least, comes the backbone of our Gateway To The Cure Campaign: Our businesses! In a year of such uncertainty, with business shutdowns and many still operating in very limited capacities, these businesses are a guiding light and show the power, strength, and innovation of small businesses.

Our donation was, to say the least, phenomenal in a year where many of our funding avenues were prohibited due to restrictions that generated several thousand dollars last year.

Every single person who made some type of support along our Gateway To The Cure journey, “Thank You!” Your contribution was not just a donation but directly affects the lives of those undergoing treatment for breast cancer for the hope of a better tomorrow with the state-of-the-art treatment, care, and support at Frederick Health via the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund.

Thanks to you, the Town of Thurmont has donated a little over $98,000 in seven years to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Health.

For more information on the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund, visit

On behalf of the Town of Thurmont and Patty Hurwitz, our heart-filled thanks go out to each and every one of you for your contribution!

 The month of October Gateway To The Cure Campaign business supporters: Amber Hill Physical Therapy; Bakers Tree Service; Bollingers Restaurant; Catoctin Veterinary Clinic; Catoctin Breeze Vineyard; Cousins Ace Hardware; Gateway Candyland; Gateway Liquors; Gateway Orthodontics; Hawkins Landscaping; Hobbs Hardware; Images Of You Hair Studio; J&B Real Estate; Kelco Plumbing & Backhoe Services; Legacy Financial; Mountain Gate Family Restaurant; Pondscapes; Rebecca LaChance Artistic Portraits; Rocky’s NY Pizza & Italian Restaurant; Roy Rogers; Scentsy–Traci Solich Independent Consultant; Seven Dragonflies Studio; Town & Country Liquors; Thurmont Bar & Grill; Thurmont Child Care; Thurmont Kountry Kitchen; Thurmont Lions Club; Timeless Trends Boutique; Tracie’s House Of Hair; Wait, What? Sauce Company; Woodsboro Bank. Gateway To the Cure 2nd Annual Golf Classic Donors: Pink Ball Top Tier Sponsors—Colonial Jewelers, Emmitsburg News Journal, J&B Real Estate, Kelco Plumbing, Stauffer Funeral Home, Thurmont Ambulance Company, Woodsboro Bank, Mountain View Lawn Service, Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg; Hole Sponsors—Affordable Storage; Baker Tree Services; Dick & Elizabeth Lee; G&S Electric; Guardian Hose Company; Lewistown Ruritan; Mikes Auto Body; Pondscapes; Rebecca Pearl Gallery; R.S. Kinnaird Memorials; Shank & Associates; Smoketown Brewery Station; The Farmhouse Exchange; Thurmont American Legion Post 168; Thurmont AMVETS Post #7; Thurmont Kountry Kitchen; Town of Thurmont; Wait, What? Sauce Company; Prize drawing donations—Beaver Creek Country Club; South Mountain Golf Course; Wegman’s; Costco; ThorpeWood; Yemi; McClintock Distilling; Top Golf; Mindful Focus Photography; Wait, What? Sauce; Nicole Lutrell; Warehouse Cinemas; Rebecca Pearl Gallery; Weis Markets.

Pictured from left are Thurmont Commissioners Wayne Hooper and Bill Buehrer, Mayor John Kinnaird, Thurmont Commissioners Marty Burns and Wes Hamrick, and Patty Hurwitz.

Citizens and community officials gathered on East Main Street in Thurmont on Saturday, August 22, 2020, to dedicate the completed murals on the old H&F Trolley Substation building on East Main Street in Thurmont. The mural’s artist, Yemi, has done a masterful job of capturing Thurmont’s history and the many highlights most taken for granted that make our town a great place to live. This project was started several years ago by the Thurmont Lions Club as part of the Thurmont Trolley Trail improvements. Yemi brought his vision and talent to this community arts project.

The recent additions were made possible by: Delaplaine Foundation, Dan Ryan Builders, Gateway Orthodontics, Thurmont Lions Club, Market Research & Resources, Ausherman Family Foundation, Main Street Maryland, Maryland State Arts Council, Imagination Center, Church of the Brethren, Frederick Arts Council, Frederick Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Rowland Glass Studio, Marlene B. Young and Mike Young, Catoctin Colorfest Inc., George Delaplaine, an anonymous donor, and The Town of Thurmont.

Pictured from left: front row) Donors: Thurmont Lions Club member Joann Miller, Lori Zimmerman and Dr. Jon Moles from Gateway Orthodontics, Catoctin Colorfest Carol Robertson, Yemi, Marlene and Mike Young, Lion Gene Long, Liesel Fennel from the Maryland State Arts Council, Sage Fagbohun, and Ryan Patterson from the Maryland State Arts Council; (back row) Thurmont Commissioners Bill Buehrer and Marty Burns, and Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird.

In honor of the Catoctin High School Class of 2020, signs celebrating each of the graduates were on display at Catoctin High School on Thursday, May 21, and Friday, May 22. The signs were provided through the courtesy of the Town of Thurmont, the Town of Emmitsburg, Catoctin High School, and Karen and John Kinnaird.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird posted the following message on social media, “We are very proud of each end every one of the students from within the Catoctin High School feeder area, and we congratulate [our graduates] for achieving this goal in your journey through life. Your future holds an entire world of opportunity; make the most of it.”

Thanks to Gateway To The Cure business participants’ donations, along with events held throughout the year, the Town of Thurmont was able to present Patty Hurwitz with a check for $21,000 at the November 19, 2019, town meeting.

A few businesses came out to talk about their promotion/donation at the check presentation: Catoctin Veterinary Clinic, Gateway Orthodontics, Emmitsburg News Journal, Roy Rogers, and the CYA Soccer Club. It was a night to shine for the Town of Thurmont, to show how great the businesses, residents, volunteers, and CYA Soccer Club really are, and how a community comes together each year for this incredible campaign. All proceeds from Gateway To The Cure are donated to the FMH Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund.

Fundraiser participants proudly presented a check for $21,000 to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at a Thurmont Town meeting in November.

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland announced that the Town of Thurmont was one of 17 Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference in October in Cambridge, Maryland.

“The Town of Thurmont is extremely proud to once again obtain this touted recognition and certification,” said Mayor John Kinnaird. “Our staff and our Green Team have worked tirelessly to educate our citizens about sustainability, and the results are very indicative of how important these efforts are to our community. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication.”

For detailed information about Thurmont’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick at 301-271-7313 or

(from left) Mayor John Kinnaird and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick are shown with the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference.

The Town of Thurmont held a Nominating Convention on Tuesday, October 24, 2019, for the upcoming municipal election in which two commissioner seats are up for election. Five candidates were nominated (pictured right); incumbent Wes Hamrick, new candidates Elliot Jones, Sabrina Massett, and Kenneth Oland, and incumbent Bill Buehrer.

The Thurmont Lions Club will sponsor a Candidate Forum to be held at the town office, the date and time will to be announced.

Mayor John Kinnaird encourages all registered voters to participate in the election and predicted a 50% voter turnout for this election. Let’s prove him right, Thurmont residents!

Dates to remember:

October 1 is the last day to register to vote, you can register at the town office.

October 22 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot.

October 29 elections will be held at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building at 123 East Main Street. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

The Arbor Day Foundation named the Town of Thurmont a 2018 Tree City USA in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.  This is the third consecutive year that Thurmont has received this recognition.

Thurmont achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick accepted the recognition from Becky Wilson, Western Region Coordinator of Urban and Community Forestry, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  “Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained.  Thurmont has once again demonstrated their belief in the importance in preserving and maintaining trees in the community,” stated Wilson.  

The presentation took place during Thurmont’s annual Green Fest on April 13.

Becky Wilson, Western Region coordinator of Urban and Community Forestry, presents Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird (left) and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick (right) with Thurmont’s third consecutive Tree City USA recognition.

The award-winning documentary Heroin’s Grip is scheduled to be shown at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. This free event is open to the public and is sponsored by The Town of Thurmont, The Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC), and FUSE Teen Center.

 Heroin’s Grip tells the story about the heroin and opioid epidemic from the viewpoint of those on the front lines of this national crisis. The film features a Thurmont family and other Frederick County families whose lives have been affected and forever changed by addiction, and includes stories from those currently using, people in recovery, as well as perspectives from law enforcement, healthcare workers, judges, prosecutors, and others who deal with people in this crisis every day. Ultimately, the film gives hope for the user and for the families who’ve been affected.

The film is produced and directed by Emmitsburg resident, Conrad Weaver.  The first lesson Conrad Weaver learned about heroin, as he worked to produce his new film Heroin’s Grip, was that no one is immune. Addiction captures rich and poor alike.

As one reviewer writes, “This movie is so relevant to what families are experiencing across our country. Anyone with a child should see this film. How do we keep our kids from falling into addiction? Heroin’s Grip will put it into perspective for you.”

Maryland currently ranks as the sixth deadliest state for drug overdoses.  During 2018, there were 55 fatal opioid-related overdoses, and 279 non-fatal overdoses in Frederick County alone. Within the United States, there were over 72,000 opiod-related deaths in 2017.  This is an epidemic that spans across all ages, races, and economic groups. This film gives the viewer a view of the crisis from all perspectives. 

All ages are encouraged to attend. Donations of canned foods will be accepted for the local food bank.

For more information about Heroin’s Grip, visit Follow us online at

The Town of Thurmont was recently recognized by the Maryland Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) and was presented the Best Program Logo award for populations serving under 50,000 people.

In the summer of 2018, the Town of Thurmont offered its inaugural summer parks and recreation program, based out of the Thurmont Community Park. The two-week program was entitled “A Day in the Park” and was a huge success. 

At the request of Park Program Coordinator Deb Abraham Spalding, Gracie Eyler from E Plus Graphics, Printing & Promotions, came up with an original logo that was used to brand the park program.

The logo was an immediate identifier for the program and was easily recognizable. It captures some of the activities provided during the two-week program, and also displays a large deciduous tree as the central focal point, reminding us that natural resources are vital to park programming. 

“This logo is a great resource used in branding our successful summer park program,” stated Mayor John Kinnaird. 

The award was presented to Gracie Eyler, Deb Abraham Spalding, and Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick at the Celebrating Excellence Marketing and Communications Awards Luncheon on February 28, 2019, in Laurel, Maryland.  This is the second consecutive year that Thurmont has received a Marketing and Communications Award from MRPA.

Jim Humerick, Town of Thurmont’s CAO; Deb Abraham Spalding, Day In The Park program coordinator; Gracie Eyler, E Plus Graphics graphic designer; and Carolyn Ryan, MRPA president.

Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. held its annual banquet in November at Simply Asia in Thurmont. This yearly meeting serves as a wrap-up for the Colorfest annual festival.

The weather for the festival was not optimum this year, with cold temperatures on Sunday, some rain, and plenty of mud. Crowds still turned out in large numbers to enjoy the offerings from hundreds of vendors. The festival was also able to avoid the power outages that plagued last year’s event.

During the meeting, annual donations are made to various organizations in Thurmont, in an effort to give back to the community. This year, Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. donated $20,339.22 to the following organizations:

  • $5,100 to Town of Thurmont
  • $4,500 to Catoctin High Scholarships
  • $3,500 to Thurmont Food Bank
  • $1,500 to Guardian Hose Company
  • $1,500 to Thurmont Ambulance Company
  • $1,500 to Thurmont Police Department
  • $696 to Catoctin High School FFA
  • $500 to local victims of a fire
  • $500 to Thurmont Ambulance Company (value of two vendor spaces at the festival used by the company at no cost)
  • $383.22 to Town gardens
  • $225 to Thurmont Library Fun Day
  • $190 to Town of Thurmont for flag lighting
  • $150 to Family Christmas meals
  • $75 to Mechanicstown Park Christmas decorations
  • $20 to American Heart Association

The Town of Thurmont issued 798 vendor permits for the event this year, of which 244 were for the Colorfest, Inc. vendors in Community Park. Among the other stats Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. listed were: 5,120 pounds of trash were generated in Community Park during the event; 72 bales of straw were delivered to combat the mud; and 9,600 apple dumplings were sold by the Thurmont Ambulance Company.

The 56th Annual Catoctin Colorfest will be held on October 12 and 13, 2019.


The Town of Thurmont was recently recognized by the Maryland Recreation and Park Association and was presented the Best Activity Guide Award for populations serving under 50,000 people.

The Thurmont Walk, Bike & Drive Map and Guide provides hiking, biking, and driving information, along with showcasing parks, history, and popular attractions in Thurmont and the surrounding areas.

The award was presented to Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder at the Celebrating Excellence Marketing and Communications Awards Luncheon on March 1, 2018, at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore.

“This guide is a great resource for our visitors, as well as our residents. I want to thank Vickie and her team for their hard work on this terrific project,” stated Mayor John Kinnaird.

Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick are pictured with the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association “Best Activity Guide” Award, following the awards luncheon in Baltimore on March 1, 2018.

Thurmont American Legion Post 168

Ed Gravatt, Past Commander

Just in case any of you haven’t noticed, the Town of Thurmont did an excellent job in cleaning up after Colorfest, and wasn’t it a beautiful weekend. I want to send out a big “Thank You” to several members of our Sons of the American Legion for their tireless efforts getting our Octoberfest set up and cleaned up. Without their assistance, it wouldn’t have come off so effortlessly. Now we can start planning for next year.

In the past couple of months, we have had to do some extensive repairs, and there will be a handicap restroom in the near future. All of this required some patience, both on our part and from members who had to contend with our construction mess and inconveniences.

There is some really good entertainment here at the Legion this month. On Saturday, November 4, 5 1/2 Men will be here again; pretty soon, they might have to change their name to 5 3/4 Men. They are a very good band, playing a variety of music from country to Rock to Pop. On November 11, we have the honor to have the Catoctin High School Safe & Sane Dance here again this year. This is an excellent event, raising funds to help keep our Kids SAFE, and out of trouble. On November 17, we will have TC Beats in our party room.

Please remember that our kitchen is open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Doreen and Christi do a wonderful job; we are lucky to have them.  The soups and specials from our kitchen are made from scratch and could compare to any of the finest restaurants around. Come on out for a good meal. Join us for the Ace of Hearts drawing on Wednesdays or for Bingo on Thursdays, along with  some great entertainment on most Fridays.

We, here at the Edwin C Creeger American Legion Post 168, would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. For any of you who may be venturing into the wilderness this month in search of the elusive White Tail Deer, please have a safe and successful hunt.

The Town of Thurmont and the Catoctin Area Civitan Club hosted a dedication of the East End Park Inclusive Playground on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Community members, club members, and town and county representatives gathered at the playground, where Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird gave a welcome and announced the completion of Phase I of the playground’s installation. He also announced that funds for Phase II are already in place, as well as funds for an ADA-compliant restroom in an existing building at the playground.

Catoctin Area Civitan Club members attended a town meeting and proposed the project, which took about a year and a half to complete to this point. The playground provides a space where physically and developmentally challenged individuals, as well as those without physical challenges, can have fun and play in the same place. Club President Ginger Malone explained that the Civitans help people with physical and intellectual disabilities. The national organization is celebrating its 100th year of service this year. Malone thanked the team who made the inclusive playground project come to life, including Jeff Barber, president of Playground Specialists, the company that installed the playground.

The totally inclusive playground is one of the first for the Frederick County region. Phases II and III will add a glider for children in wheelchairs, a cocoon for children with autism, and a music station. Malone thanked the residents of Thurmont for supporting the Civitans with fundraising from the blue toilet campaign. “If you get the traveling blue toilet, please make sure the recipients support it,” said Malone.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner had a good time trying out the zip line. Gardner said, “I think this is a great accomplishment for all of you, because it’s really important to the children of this town and Frederick County.” She presented a certificate of appreciation to the Catoctin Area Civitan Club for taking the lead to find the funding.

Mayor Kinnaird prompted Jeff Barber to express how great the town of Thurmont is. Barber explained that Phases II and III will tie in the pavilion with the playground. Barber explained, “Inclusive playgrounds feature pieces of equipment that are accessible to everyone and can be accessed at transfer height. So both challenged individuals and non-challenged individuals can play together.” He added, “The playground pieces need to be ‘cool’ enough to be fun for everyone. This will actually be one of the coolest and best playgrounds in all of Frederick County for all kids.”

Julie DeRoner, a Thurmont resident, is a parent of children with disabilities and works with children with disabilities at the Frederick County Developmental Center. She expressed that the playground, “is an excellent opportunity for inclusive play.”

Town of Thurmont officials, Frederick County officials, and members of the Catoctin Civitan Club are shown cutting the ribbon for the official opening of the Inclusive Playground in Thurmont.

Vickie Grinder has been named as the new Economic Development Manager for the Town of Thurmont. Grinder has recently served as Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, a part-time position, since 2013. During her tenure as Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, Grinder has overseen many popular events, including Christmas in Thurmont, the Thurmont Business Showcase, the Main Street Farmers’ Market, and the annual Art and Wine Strolls.

Grinder’s new responsibilities will include the promotion and marketing of business and economic development interests within the town, providing guidance to existing businesses, attracting new business opportunities to Thurmont, and continuing to oversee the Thurmont Main Street program.

“We’re looking forward to increasing our economic development efforts in Thurmont. Vickie’s professional contacts and her determination for the success of Thurmont’s business community will prove to be invaluable as we move forward,” stated Thurmont Commissioner and Main Street Liaison Bill Buehrer.

Grinder, who resides in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to begin working in her new position on January 17, 2017.

The Town of Thurmont is inviting all interested parties to bid on the following surplus equipment:

  • 1999 Chevrolet C-7500 Dump Truck. Unit comes with snow plow and salt spreader; 5 speed hi-lo transmission. Mileage: 36,241. Minimum bid is $500.
  • 1982 GMC 7000 Dump Truck. 5-speed manual transmission. Mileage: 85,741. Minimum bid is $500.

Both vehicles are available for viewing. Please call 301-748-5748 for questions or to schedule an appointment for viewing the vehicles. Bids will be received until 3:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017, at: Town of Thurmont, PO Box 17, Thurmont, MD 21788.

Anita DiGregory

With a chill in the air, twinkling lights illuminating shops and homes, and decorations going up all over, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Catoctin area.

The town of Emmitsburg started decorating for the holidays with wreaths the week before Thanksgiving. They added new garland around the square this year, and, of course, the annual Christmas Tree adorns the bank corner on the square. Three of Emmitsburg’s Public Works crew—Chris Wantz, Darrell Lambright, and Davy Wantz Jr.—put up the decoations. Davy Wantz said, “Some people were asking why we were putting the decorations up so early. I told them we wanted to get it done while the weather was good.” Emmitsburg resident, Boyle ????? said, “I enjoy the decorations and look forward to the holiday activities that take place every year.” Emmitsburg residents Bev Adams, Frankie Fields, and Audrey Glass, all recall fond memories of the fresh pine swag decorations that were created by ladies in Emmitsburg. That project was spearheaded by the late Ann Dingle.

The town of Thurmont started decorating before Thanksgiving in order to get everything beautiful in time for the Christmas season. The Electric Department, comprised of four employees, was tasked with hanging all the decorations and lights in Thurmont. According to Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick, it takes approximately 240 man hours over the span of a week and a half to get everything decorated for the holidays. With last year’s introduction of the new streetlights on Main Street, new decorations had to be purchased. In an effort to spread the cost over a three-year period, the town opted to purchase and introduce the decorations over time. The new decorations, which included garland and wreaths, were introduced last year. Of the 62 new streetlights, 48 now are complete with the new decorations. The angels, which had been used with the old, taller streetlights, have been moved to the Thurmont Community Park.  “Last year was the first year the angels were relocated to Community Park, and the community really liked it. It makes a nice ambience for Christmas,” stated Humerick.

For several years, Thurmont Electric Supervisor Gary Hodges has been part of the staff charged with decorating Thurmont. Having been with the town for ten years, Hodges happily added, “There is never a dull moment when decorating for Christmas in Thurmont. But everyone works together to get it done in a timely manner, and in the end, it is all worth it.” In addition to all of their other responsibilities within town, the electric department staff must hang all the decorations. This task includes checking all the bulbs and replacing dead bulbs. Although the task may sound overwhelming at times, Hodges stated, “It is a great thing, very rewarding knowing everyone and all the kids enjoy it!”

Although the decorations were hung before Thanksgiving, the lights (minus those on the town Christmas tree), were not scheduled to be lit until the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. In addition to our towns’ celebrations and decorating, the community has also gotten into the spirit of the season.

Virginia LaRouche, owner of Timeless Trends Boutique on Main Street began around Halloween decorating the shop with her staff.  “Every year we close for a week, cover the windows so no one can peak, decorate for the holidays, and open for our Holiday Open House,” stated LaRouche. LaRouche and her daughter, Mary Guiles, choose a new theme for each holiday season. Once settled on this year’s theme of “home for the holidays,” the five staff members set out to magically transform the shop into a beautifully decorated home away from home. With the focus on family and being home for the holidays, the boutique is filled with holiday décor suitable for every style home, from primitive to modern to Victorian. This year, the shop houses no less than twenty-one decorated Christmas trees, in addition to furniture for the holidays, and loads of unique decorations. Regular customers, along with the community, have come to look forward to this official kick-off to the holiday season. Much time and care is spent decorating the store for the holidays, especially the shop window.  “I get so excited…worse than a little kid on Christmas Eve. I love taking down the paper and revealing the window,” stated LaRouche. The twinkling lights and magical store transformation delights customers and residents alike. Everyone seems to look forward to the introduction of the season.

Nick Kinna, manager of the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, agrees. Having been with the Mountain Gate since 1992, Kinna has witnessed how their regular customers, and the community at large, enjoy the restaurant’s kickoff to the holiday season, when they officially open their life-size Nativity Scene and light their Christmas trees. “The regulars look forward to it being opened. We always get calls to see if we have opened it yet. People are glad to see it,” Kinna added.

“I think it is awesome that they do that. I love it. It is really gorgeous!” stated Teresa Williams, a Brunswick resident and regular customer, who has been coming back to the Mountain Gate for twenty years.

Area residents Bern and Terry Sweeney also decorated early this year. “I am ready for it. I get excited this time of year when we get to decorate and put the trees up,” said Terry Sweeney. With five daughters and eight grandchildren, the Sweeney home is always full for the holidays. “I have always gone all-out for Christmas. I like to turn out the lights and just look at the Christmas lights.”

Frank and Jody Kurtz, who have lived in their current home since 1996, also decorated a bit earlier this year. “We missed it last year because we were busy traveling a lot, and I was not going to miss it this year,” stated Frank Kurtz. “I like Christmas. It is a way to look back and see what you are thankful for and a reflection of why we are here.” The Kurtz’s, together, coached youth league and high school cross country and track for eleven years in the community.

During a time when many in the country are struggling to find hope, and in spite of the barrage of negative news dominating the nation, it is a gift and blessing to be a part of such a close-knit community, spreading the joy of the season.

“Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”  —Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street.


Photos by Anita DiGregory