Thurmont’s largest annual gathering is canceled.
The town’s mayor and Board of Commissioners confirmed the cancelation of Colorfest weekend at its town meeting Tuesday night after organizations that hold the event expressed concerns about having it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Catoctin Colorfest Inc., Guardian Hose Co. and Thurmont Community Ambulance were among the organizations expressing concern, and issued a letter to the town saying they would not be participating in any events being held on Oct. 10-11, 2020, which was the original planned dates for Colorfest.
The letter stated concern for the health and well-being of residents of Thurmont, tourists and event staffers.
“We look forward to celebrating 57th anniversary of the event next year,” the letter read in part.
Mayor John Kinnaird and the town commissioners took action by issuing a statement on behalf of the town.
“As we all know, Colorfest draws thousands of people each year and the possibility of increased infection in large gatherings is well established,” the statement read in part. “... The festival should not be held this year.”
Commissioner Wes Hamrick lamented the economic toll the the COVID-19 has taken on the town, noting the carnivals and town community show that have also been canceled.
Kinnaird agreed, and went a step further, issuing a plea to town residents to donate to organizations and churches in the community that benefit so much from the events that have been canceled this year.
Each year, Colorfest draws tens of thousands of visitors to Thurmont over the course of two days and thousands of dollars raised go toward various organizations in the community, including the food bank, the police department, Catoctin High School FFA, the Board of Commissioners, the ambulance company and the Guardian Hose Co.