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Main Street programs make their mark

Danielle Ryan

(8/26) Thurmont has been named a 2016 Main Street accredited community. Main Street programs are set in place to enhance the every day lives of residents within the community as well as anyone who is visiting. Many devoted volunteers and Thurmont businesses, along with Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder, have worked to ensure Thurmont remains compliant in the requirements instituted by the State of Maryland to obtain this recognition. Public outreach, programming, economic development, sustainable practices, and the creation of a business-friendly environment are only a few of the many required elements of this program.

Over the past year, Thurmont has achieved goals, all of which helped contribute to the community Main Street accreditation. One of the major goals reached was the opening of Thurmont’s Main Street Center, located at 11 Water Street on June 5th.

As one of the focal points in the town, The Main Street Center serves numerous purposes for the community including functioning as the Visitor Center where visitors can pick up information on the town’s businesses. The Center also provides a location where local artists can display and sell their artwork along with locally made products, and also serves as a public meeting space to various community groups. The Center is also an outlet for nonprofits such as the Thurmont Lions Club to sell ornaments, mural memorabilia, and the Catoctin Area Civitan to sell their White House Christmas ornaments. On September 17, The Center will host the Rural Maryland Council and Rural Maryland Foundations production of "Farmland." The Main Street Center is open every Saturday and Sunday Noon-4PM, May through December with extended days open during December.

In addition to the opening of the Main Street Center, Thurmont also has put on a variety of community events such as the Farmers Market, Gallery Strolls, "Thurmont Think Pink" and the "Buy Local" program. Not to mention Christmas in Thurmont, which is a yearly holiday event, that includes photos with Santa Claus, caroling and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Mechanicstown Square Park.

Furthermore, the Town has also done some revitalization projects that include new sidewalks, new streetlights, new benches, trashcans and bicycle racks. Partnerships with Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls State Park and Frederick County Office of Economic Development were also created.

Aesthetically, the Town has completed several revitalization projects that include new sidewalks, new streetlights, new benches, trashcans, picnic tables, and bicycle racks. Partnerships with Catoctin Mountain Park have been established to create a future continuous loop from the Trolley Trail on Main Street to connect to the nearby property acquired by Catoctin Mountain Park. Partnerships with Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls State Park are essential to capture a percentage of the 250,000 people which visit these parks each year, and spur future economic development within the town. In addition, Thurmont works closely with Frederick County Economic Development to assist existing business, and future entrepreneurs looking to find Thurmont home to their new or expanding business.

In addition to being named as a National Main Street accredited community, Thurmont has also been recognized as a Banner City/Town at the 2016 Maryland Municipal League (MML) Convention. This accreditation is awarded to towns and cities that meet stringent goals and objectives including staff training, participation in Municipal Government Works month activities, community outreach, and elected officials’ support and participation in MML activities. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick accepted the award and stated "This accreditation is a very positive step forward for our municipal operations in Thurmont. To be named as a Banner City is a tribute to the continued hard work by our staff and elected officials."

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