Dreary weather didn’t deter Thurmont’s Business Showcase from a delightful turnout on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the new Thurmont Ambulance Company Event Complex. The building’s bright chandeliers lit the large event area with plenty of seating for families to comfortably enjoy a fresh meal, which was provided by the ambulance company.
“I’ve been here for one hour, and I’m very pleased,” said Heather Heier, owner of Harmony Healing. Heather provides her Reiki services from her office in the Center of Life Holistic Center on Park Lane in Thurmont. Thurmont’s favorite Chiropractor, Dr. John Hagemann, is the proprietor of the space, and his wife, Márcia, teaches pilates there as well.
“There were people already here, so that’s a good sign!” said enthused owner, Champ, from Complete Auto Diagnostics on Roddy Road. Champ and his staff members were surprised to see people waiting at the door for the event to begin.
Carol Robertson, long-time volunteer with the Showcase, was also impressed with the turnout. “I’ll tell you what has been really nice: I’ve seen so many people that I know. Sometimes you don’t see them for months and now, today, I see them!”
At noon, spectators gathered to watch the ladies from Anytime Fitness demonstrate the popular “Zumba Workout.” Anytime Fitness’ Bette Troxell sat back and cheered them on. She exclaimed,” They rocked it, they got compliments, it was good.”
Following the high energy demo, “Out of the Blue” provided live entertainment. Local entertainer, Harold Staley, followed their act. He has performed at previous Showcases.
John Nickerson, a.k.a. Gnarly Artly, stood near the stage at his booth, enjoying the band. “This is great; I hope everybody comes back next year.”
Some businesses provided a taste of the everyday products that consumers will find in their shops. Some of the most creative booths included J. Rothrock Outfitters, a family owned business on East Main Street in Thurmont. They displayed a tent and other unique decorative pieces that would pique the interest of outdoor enthusiasts. “I love the live band; the facility is fantastic,” said proprietor, Hillary Rothrock. This being her second time at the showcase, she already looks forward to next year.
Eyler’s Flea Market also displayed a unique set-up, with a montage of items from their flea market vendors’ booths.
For some business owners, it was their first time at the Showcase. Jason Thakkar, the new owner of Super 8 Motel in Thurmont made it a point to greet other business owners and welcome the community to visit the motel, which is also now under new management.
The Irons family, from Old Mink Farm Resort, offered a hand-painted cabin scene for visitors to take a fun photo “in the woods,” while advertising some of their beautiful mountain get-aways for rent. The Irons even noticed that some of the people dropping by for information weren’t from the Thurmont area, a sign that the showcase had a bigger draw than expected.
Local non-profit groups like the Lions Club, Civitan, and Girl Scouts were also present at the Showcase. Two of the Girl Scouts were dressed as “Thin Mint” cookies. The costumes reminded many that it was time to show their support and purchase some of their favorite sweet treats. When asked if she was having fun, Miss Harrison, eight years old, exclaimed, “YES! It’s sooo fun!”
The ladies of the Thurmont Lion Club sold tickets for upcoming raffles and commemorative Thurmont memorabilia. The Civitan Club proudly displayed projects and fundraisers they’ve been promoting during the past year. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardener dropped by their booth to thank them for their service to the community.
Cunningham Falls State Park Ranger Travis Watts brought his feathered friends from the aviary to advocate upcoming events at the park. Parents and kids stood aside while Ranger Travis handled a screech owl.
In the next booth, Cindy Poole was busy promoting both The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society and Thurmont’s Green Team. While she was showing artifacts from Catoctin Furnace and promoting future events, she was also busy encouraging residents of the community to go green in Thurmont.
Lowman Keeney, president of the Thurmont Ambulance Company, worked behind the scenes to make sure everything was in order. His sister, LaRue, along with other volunteers, made sure no one went hungry during the event. Jim Wolfe and Tim Wiltrout manned the enormous grills in the kitchen, while others served up the meals and took orders. Many visitors were impressed with the size of the building and kitchen.
Vickie Grinder, Thurmont’s Economic Development director and Main Street coordinator, said there were forty-five vendors—seventeen more than the previous year. “We had a great crowd, with people of all ages. That’s what you want.”
Mayor Kinnaird was spotted making his rounds with his camera, capturing all aspects of the community-enriching event.
Overall, the 2017 Thurmont Business Showcase was very much anticipated by the community and a success for our local businesses and organizations. It’s safe to say that everyone looks forward to a prosperous year and to the next Showcase in 2018.
(left) Thurmont Commissioner Wes Hamrick chats with local Melaleuca representatives, Kellie Bevard and Carla Longenecker, during the Thurmont Business Showcase.
(below) Park Ranger Travis Watts, with “Scales and Tales” educates visitors on upcoming programs from Cunningham State Park, along with his side-kick, the screech owl.