For 57 years, Katherine Peters has been in the entertainment business, and her cross-cultural dance hall, Blob's Park in Jessup, has united people of all ages and nationalities.

Throughout its years of success, Blob's has done little to change.

Perhaps that is why it has fared so well.

Peters values tradition. "Why change a good thing? People enjoy it here as much now as they did when I took over in 1965," she says.

But along with her sense of frivolity, it is her holiday spirit that sets her apart year after year.

At her own expense, the 73-year-old Peters throws one of the most celebrated Christmas parties for children in the Baltimore area, with more than 400 youngsters attending this year.

Every child is given a chance to chat with Santa and is given a present, such as a stuffed animal, doll or toy truck.

"It's something we do because the kids love it so much and I never want to stop doing it," Peters said. "We have Santa and his helpers there, sort of like German folk dancers. It's a great time for the parents, too."

Peters, who lives next door to Blob's, comes from a family that has brought the German Oktoberfest to Howard County for six decades.

Her uncle opened the park, located in the U.S. 1 area, in 1933. The original building had space for about 75 to 100 people, Peters said.

But over the years, the club's popularity increased, and in 1976, the building was enlarged to hold approximately 1,000 people.

On the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays that the park is open for business, a normal crowd is about 500.

Local patrons say that Blob's, which attracts a strong Polish-German contingent as well as numerous other European nationals, is more than just a weekend nightspot -- it is a haven. The loyalty of the club's patrons is well-known.

Peters says part of the club's success is its timelessness. The German biergarten atmosphere hasn't changed at Blob's for nearly 60 years.

Some of Blob's regulars come from as far away as Virginia and New Jersey. The dance hall appeals to young and old, Peters said.

"It's for anyone who enjoys Oktoberfest, and that's the way I've always wanted to keep it," she said.

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