The leaders of many of the globe’s leaders met this weekend at the G-8 Summit in Thurmont, bringing in several hundred protesters, but there was hardly a trace of their presence on Sunday.
The only remnant of this weekend’s activity were flags denoting the eight participating countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States hanging in Mechanicstown Square Park. International leaders from those countries left Saturday night for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago.
Thurmont spent about $20,000 in preparation for the event, with staff and some police working overtime to prepare for any potential incidents, according to Mayor Marty Burns.
He said they would be asking U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Dist. 6) for help from the federal government in recouping the costs.
“We obviously didn’t plan for $20,000 in extra expenses,” Burns said.
Burns said about 400 protesters in support of Ethiopia turned out, making up the majority of the opposition presence. They were in town for about five hours, and police in riot gear stood nearby. Burns said there were no incidents reported with the protesters.
“I was happy to say they were able to exercise their constitutional rights, and happy to say they were legal and law abiding in doing so,” he said.
Burns said there was very little cleanup for the town to do after the protesters left.
“The good thing is the protesters really cleaned up on their way out of town,” he said. “The only issue for us is recouping some staff time and extra police protection.”
But despite the intense media frenzy and protesters in town, Burns said the G-8 Summit could come back.
“As the mayor of the town, I’d welcome them back, absolutely,” Burns said.
At the Cozy Restaurant, things were quiet for the weekend, with most of the restaurant’s regulars staying home, according to Agnes Getz, of Thurmont, who was manager on Saturday and on Sunday morning. She said she thought most of the customers stayed home to avoid the extra people in town.
The restaurant had a guestbook for visiting media, which was signed by about a dozen people from worldwide news organizations.
Harry Fogle, of Waynesboro, Pa., a fellow restaurant employee, echoed similar sentiment.
“It was quiet except for the media,” he said. “The news reporters were here all day. We didn’t see anybody important, just the media.”