Colorfest returned to Thurmont for the first time in two years this weekend.

Thousands of people came — some from hours away — to shop, eat and drink at the annual festival, which featured craft sales from hundreds of regional artists.

“I always look forward to this,” said Glen Burnie resident Debra Brewster, who has been coming to Colorfest for about seven years. “This is, like, one of my favorite places to come all year.”

When Brewster makes her calendar for the upcoming year, she said, she always marks down Colorfest straight away. Not only that — she leaves a note for herself on a day early in September, reminding her to figure out which of her friends are going, and on which days.

This year, Brewster brought her sister along. The pair of them have visited Thurmont several times for Colorfest, always returning to the same stand for apple dumplings and vanilla ice cream.

The dumplings, which are made with fresh apples wrapped in puff pastry and fried, are one of the festival’s most popular snacks. Signs in the shape of apples dotted the streets of Thurmont, directing visitors to where they could purchase some.

Lori Brown, a Thurmont resident who was born and raised in nearby Emmitsburg, worked at a stand on the town’s carnival grounds selling apple dumplings Saturday. Some dedicated fans prefered the dumplings from across town at the ambulance service building — those are the original, famous ones, Brown said, made by the volunteers. Her team bought theirs from a local Amish family.

Still, Brown said, her dumplings were extremely popular, with excited visitors lining up all afternoon.

Brown was also in charge of securing vendors for the section of the festival that sprawled across the carnival grounds. This year, there were about 60 stands in her area, which she said was significantly lower than two years ago.

The rest of the town saw fewer vendors register than usual, too, Brown said. She wondered if the coronavirus had forced some local artisans out of business.

“Because of the pandemic last year, vendors didn’t have any shows,” she said. “Maybe people gave it up.”

Plenty of vendors were there, though, selling everything from pottery to spices to bow ties for pets.

Brewster said one of her favorite things about the festival was the slow, easy pace visitors typically took. They meandered through the streets, stopping to admire the products for sale and chat with vendors.

Seth Williams came from upstate New York to meet up with family members who live in Westminster. He’d been to Colorfest before, but some of his relatives hadn’t.

“It’s good to be back,” he said.

For Josie Salley, who said she’s brought her now-adult sons to Colorfest since they were young boys, the event was nostalgic.

She recalled the days when square dancing and bluegrass music were some of the festival’s draws, and when a German dance group would perform at the old Cozy Restaurant.

In the past, Salley said, she loved to walk the length of the town and admire the arts and crafts for sale. But now, walking isn’t so easy for her.

So this year, her son brought her a folding chair. They set it up along one of the festival’s main thoroughfares, and she sat there happily for hours.

“I’m old. I like to watch people,” she said with a laugh. “I enjoy just watching everything.”

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

(13) comments


Places where mask adoption is high have low rates of covid transmissions, hospitalizations, & deaths. Masks work by creating a barrier to the virus that is suspended in body fluid particles that escape an infected person’s mouth and nose when talking, coughing or sneezing. Cloth is better nothing. Surgical masks are better than cloth. N95 is better than surgical masks. Vaccines help a lot too. The Moderna vaccine, for example, is about 95% effective at keeping one from developing a severe case that will lead to hospitalization or death (one can still become infected & spread the virus). About 5% of those who received the Moderna vaccine develop a breakthrough case of covid that can lead to hospitalization or death. This is where continuing to wear a mask after being vaccinated will not only protect others from you (if you are infected) but also you from them (if they are infected). I’m not sure why over a year into this situation there remain so many with so little understanding or regard for why the public health authorities are making these recommendations & mandates.


[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] mrsniper!


What's really scary is a bunch of supposed adults who think a cloth mask actually does anything. (And even if they did, why would you need them if the vaccine worked?) The kind of people who post these crap comments are the kind of people who wear masks in a vehicle by themselves and probably support open borders along with the massive influx of people crossing daily who are themselves not vaccinated. (And in many cases are COVID positive.)


I never could figure out why anyone would wear a mask when they were alone in the privacy of their own vehicle, and I doubt if any of those who do/did could [logically] explain it, either.


CD, is this deep mystery keeping you up at night? … Trouble figuring things out on your own 💭? Don’t worry 😉, I’ll relieve you of your stress…

Answer: Many people are so comfortable with wearing a mask they forget they have it on, especially if their in an occupation that requires wearing a mask, after 6 to 12 hours a day. Like teachers and health professionals, you become unconscious that you have it on. It’s not an impediment. It just becomes like wearing another piece of clothing. But don’t let it become a distraction to you’re driving.


It may have been a "deep mystery" to you, Aw, but I really couldn't care less. And, you know for a fact that the reason you stated is the only reason why people wear masks in their vehicles? Wow, it must be nice to be so knowledgeable, I'm quite impressed! Oh, and "to 'you're' driving?" OK....and you're the one who has nit picked my spelling. SMH

Greg F

Allergies, perhaps? I found that masks really help when some jackass has worn way too much cologne or somebody decided to take a bath in perfume. So...I don't mind wearing one with good filtration for that in a meeting once things are done, or in having to wade through the perfume section trying to get through a mall or store. Go to Tysons Corner mall or Westfield Montgomery Mall...they've actually started pumping fragrance through the ventilation system. I was even hiking out at Sugarloaf and a whole family walked by reaking of dryer sheets...just NASTY that could be smelled for a quarter mile after passing them. Stuff is one of the worst carcinogenic things you can use. Kinda wished I had one on then....just gave me a migraine instantly...some people don't tolerate that crap very well.

Guy T. Ashton

And where,exactly, did you get your degree in biology or medicine?

Greg F

He got the Fox News World Scholar at everything certification.

Greg F

The neck gaiter is worse than no mask. Cowboy masks are barely better than no mask. Others....good an bad, here they are


Maryland has been one of the most successful states in vaccinations and lowering the positive daily average rates of new cases. 4,311,515 people or 71% of the state has received at least one dose. Overall, 3,912,884 people or 64% of Maryland's population has been fully vaccinated. Frederick County ranks #5 out 24 jurisdictions in the state. Having outdoor events, were most have been vaccinated is far less risky than it was this time last year. But don’t be “that guy” who didn’t get vaccinated, becomes ill, needs to be hospitalized after going to a festival. 🤦‍♂️ You can’t say you weren’t warned.


No doubt, ICUs will soon be filled at regional hospitals due to the inconsideration of the maskless Trump supporters at this Super Spreader event. How can we ever get past this pandemic if these people are continued to be allowed to leave their homes?


Covid is still with us - lack of masks - even though it is outside - is troublesome.

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