Indian Head businesses visited by trolley riders
More than 30 artists, crafters, businesses participated
Heads turned and faces lit up Tuesday as people watched the Indian Head trolley transport local shoppers to business locations throughout the town. The rainy, unusual- ly warm day didn’t hold off the vendors from showcasing their goods.
The Indian Head Business Association and the Town of Indian Head sponsored the fifth annual Up on the Hill and Through the Town Business Open House and Vendor Expo from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 29. Visitors had the opportunity to be picked up and dropped off by the trolley as they stopped by each business to shop and meet more than 30 participating artists, crafters and businesses.
“Our trolley doesn’t come out very often and the Indian Head Business Association thought it would be fantastic if we could showcase the trol- ley but also have it drop people off,” said Pam Hundley, co-owner of Dale’s Smokehouse and co-chair of the business associa- tion. “Everybody loves riding the trolley. You just don’t get a chance to ride a trolley very often.”
Vendors from all over Charles County were able to set up shop in- side any of the business locations involved, free of charge. Participants were welcomed with refreshments, games, priz- es and raffle tickets for a chance to win a basket of goodies. Visitors also donated non-perishable food items to support N.E.T.S. (Neighbors Eager to Serve) before visiting Santa Claus at The Moose Lodge and meeting the Chick-fil-A cow.
“Five years ago the business association was looking for ways to bring business and the public together, so a few busi- ness owners came together and decided to have a Christmas get-together including local vendors to showcase what they have,” Hundley said. “The purpose of the event is to let people know about all of these vendors that live within our community. The talents that they have and the homemade crafts are unbelievable.”
Hundley said people have “tunnel vision” as they drive through Indian Head and travelers don’t even notice the business- es on each side of Route 210. However, during the annual Up on the Hill and Through the Town event locals get a chance to stop and meet business own- ers and their staff.
“Our town is at the end of the road,” said Sue Mc- Cormick, owner of Hilltop Salon & Tanning. “We have lost a lot of businesses, but we are alive. The ones that are [still here are] thriving and people forget that we are here. Instead, many people go to La Plata or Waldorf to do all of their shopping. So we’re trying to make sure people know we’re here and know that Indian Head is still alive.”
Hundley said normally they have 10 business locations to hold vendors, but this year eight businesses participated.
McCormick said the event didn’t have the best turnout, but all of the businesses came together as a community for this fun joint event.
“It’s a warm event that makes you feel good about the town,” Hundley said. “You have a new respect for everybody and it’s just really nice.”
Donna Cobb, owner of The Flower Basket, said the event did draw in vendors and new faces who aren’t normally in the Indian Head area. Cobb’s floral business, which she describes as a personalized, friendly shop in town, has been open for five years.
“If people came to Indian Head and actually spent some time here, although we are so close to bigger areas, we do have that small town feel and everyone is willing to help each other,” Cobb said. “I think the event is a good thing for the town and I would love to see it continue. I hope to see more businesses come in and realize that Indian Head is not just the end of the road. Our mayor, he’s great. He checks on all the businesses once a month and he’s working hard to bring Indian Head back to life.”
The floral shop is right next to Michelle’s Cakes, where locals with a sweet tooth can find tasty cupcakes and treats.
The Indian Head Moose Lodge 1712 was busy spreading Christmas cheer with an early visit from Santa Claus. The Lodge’s John Carlson said the event had a steady flow of people which allowed his staff to raise awareness of the lodge and its weekly activities.
“We saw a lot of faces and there’s a lot of people who don’t know the Indi- an Head Moose Lodge is in this neighborhood or where it is,” Carlson said. “We like to get involved with the town and the event gets people out to see what we’re about, and the residents see what’s available to the community. This is our third year participating and if they do it again next year, we will participate in it again.”
Local vendor Brenda Hayes, owner of One Horse Farm, sells some of her apple butter, peanut brittle and other goods to Mayor Brandon Paulin at Dale’s Smokehouse in Indian Head.
Donna Cobb, owner of The Flower Basket, prepares a flower arrangement order during the Business Open House & Vendor Expo held on Nov. 29 in Indian Head.
On Nov. 29, the Indian Head trolley drove visitors and shoppers to various business locations throughout the town.