Join the revolution!

May 24-26, 2019 | Memorial Day Weekend

Schedule & Maps

Street Map

Shuttle Service

Last Year's Schedule - 2019 Schedule will post in the Spring

(schedule subject to change without notice!)  

Schedule of Main Events

Saturday, May 25, 2019 8:00 am Classic Distance Run 10:00am Colonial Parade 2:00pm Colonial Reenactment   Sunday, May 26, 2019 Noon- 4pm Beer and Wine Tasting event 2:30pm Raft Race Throughout the weekend enjoy walking tours of the Historic District, 100+ craft vendors, live performances, children’s activities and local food.

Some of our featured performers:

For Children:

Colonial Reenactors:

Register for Events



Children's footrace at Washington College track the Friday evening before the festival Benefits H.H. Garnet Elementary School. CLICK TO REGISTER


Chestertown Tea Party 10-Miler and 5K Distance Classic/Run takes place early on the Saturday morning of the festival. Benefits Radcliffe Creek School. CLICK TO REGISTER


Takes place at 10am the Saturday morning of the festival. Colonial militia, marching bands, costume-garbed children and a variety of other participants in the festival's parade. CLICK TO REGISTER


Annually, at 2:30 PM on Sunday of Chestertown’s Tea Party Festival, the Raft Race attracts hundreds of spectators to an unusual event- a race of rafts made of non-nautical materials on the Chester River. CLICK TO REGISTER

For Vendors



Non-Profit Booths are informational in nature. If your organization also wants to sell items, you will need a different registration form. Please contact CLICK TO APPLY


Non-Profit organizations located in Kent County are invited to apply for a space in our food vendor area. Please contact for more information. CLICK TO APPLY


All work must be original and that of the exhibitor. Manufactured kits or “buy and sell crafts” are prohibited. Weapons (toy or otherwise) such as, but not limited to, pop guns, rubber band guns, swords, bows and arrows are prohibited from sale at the Festival. Merchants will be asked to remove prohibited items. CLICK TO APPLY


You must be an approved Chestertown Farmers’ Market or Artisans’ Market vendor by the Town of Chestertown. CLICK TO APPLY

Friends & Sponsors

The Chestertown Tea Party Festival is always looking for more sponsors! Click here to find out more about our sponsorship opportunities.

Platinum Sponsors

Atlantic Broadband
Kelly Distributors

Gold Sponsors

David A. Bramble, Inc.
Radcliffe Corporate Services

Silver Sponsors

A-Plus Sanitation LLC
Chesapeake Bank and Trust
Dixon Valve
Kent School
Law Offices of Stephen Z. Meehan
Mary Simmons Pet Care Services
The Peoples Bank

Bronze Sponsors

Figg’s Ordinary
Great Oak Manor

General Sponsors

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Sultana Education Foundation

Echo Hill Outdoor School
Kent Amateur Radio Society

Kent & Queen Anne's Rescue Squad

Young Professionals of Kent County

Historical Society of Kent County


Radcliffe Creek School
Classic Distance Run

The Humane Society of Kent County
Chestertown Fire Hall

logo_CWCChesapeake Wine Trail



Community Partners

Atlantic Tractor

Chestertown Police Department - 410-778-1800

Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company

County of Kent, MD

Dick Goodall and KRM

Louis Grasmick

Humane Society of Kent County

George Lehmer

Kent & Queen Anne's Rescue Squad

Kent County Detention Center

Kent County Historical Society

Kent County News

Kent County Office of Tourism

Kent County Public Library

Kent County  Sheriff’s Department

Maryland Office of Tourism

Maryland State Police

Moo Productions

RiverArts: KidSPOT

Tidewater Trader

Town of Chestertown

Genie Wootton


  • Chestertown RiverArts
  • Church Hill Theatre
  • CASA of Queen Anne’s & Kent
  • Democratic Club of Kent County
  • The Gunston School
  • KC Chamber of Commerce
  • KC Community Marching Band
  • Historic Society of Kent County
  • Kent County Public Schools
  • Mt Harmon Colonial Estate
  • Master Gardeners of Kent & QA’s
  • National Music Festival
  • Olde Kent Quilters Guild
  • Republican Club of Kent County
  • US Coast Guard Auxiliary

  • Bethel A.M.E Church
  • Boy Scout Troop 130
  • Centreville Church of God
  • Chestertown Elks
  • Chestertown Optimist Club
  • Christ U.M. Church
  • Eastern Shore Alano Club
  • Historical Society of Kent County
  • Janes United Methodist Church
  • Jaycees of Cecil County
  • KCHS Music Boosters
  • Kent County Community Marching Band
  • Kent County Young Farmers
  • Kent Ruritan
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Mt. Olive AME Church
  • New Christian Chapel of Love U.M. Church
  • Order of the Eastern Star
  • Rotary Club of Chestertown
  • Thomas H. Kiah #101 Masonic Lodge
  • Union U.M. Church
  • Unitarian Universalists of Chester River


  • Alano Club of Kent County
  • Centerville Church of God
  • Jaycees of Cecil County
  • KC Community Marching Band
  • Mt. Pisgah UM Church



Press & Photo Gallery

Celebrate Chestertown’s Colonial Heritage Every Memorial Day weekend, for the past 42 years, Chestertown has celebrated its colonial past with a festival that provides fun for thousands of visitors. The Festival commemorates events that took place in 1774. When the citizens of Chestertown learned that the British had closed the port of Boston in retaliation for Bostonians dumping tea into the harbor, they issued "The Chestertown Resolves" which stated that is was illegal to import, sell or consume tea. According to local lore, on May 23rd, 1774, the citizens’ of Chestertown gathered at the town center, marched down High Street to the brigantine Geddes, and tossed her cargo of tea into the Chester River. The 2018 Festival is going to be extra special. Thanks to the efforts of Kelly Distributors, the famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be present. They will make their first appearance at the Friday evening Street Party at the foot of High Street. The Street Party starts at 6pm and admission is free. Food provided by Kent County’s food trucks will be available for purchase. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of craft beers, music and games for the younger crowd. On Saturday May 26, for the athletes among us, the day starts with a classic distance run (5k or 10 miles). The next big event, the Colonial Parade begins at 10 a.m. In addition to many local bands, this year the parade includes the US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, one of only four premier musical organizations of the US Army. The Clydesdales, pulling the well-known Budweiser carriage will close the parade. The stately horses will make their way to Wilmer Park for an up-close meet and great and photo opportunities. After the parade, visitors are encouraged to wander through the “Colonial Village” located around Kent County’s historic Court House. Various colonial military units, 1st Delaware Regiment, MD Loyalist and the 1st Regiment of Light Dragoons (cavalry) will have set up camp. In addition, guests can visit with Ben Franklin, practice their sword skills with the Swordmasters, learn how to make chocolate from colonial grocers Dobyns and Martin, see a black smith at work or step into the 19th century with the Friends of the War of 1812. The Tea Party re-enactment, the highlight of the day, is at 2 p.m. Re-enactors will debate the British actions. After they have announced the “Chestertown Resolves” they will march down High Street to the Chester River, while coming “under fire” of the Redcoats. Eventually the Colonists will row to Chestertown’s 18th century replica tall ship, Sultana (standing in for the original Geddes) and throw its cargo of tea overboard. Throughout the day, visitors can also enjoy walking tours of the historic district, demonstrations of colonial crafts, more than 100 craft vendors, children’s activities, local foods, a wine village beside the town dock and a wide array of musical entertainers. The festival concludes Sunday afternoon in Wilmer Park with local wine and craft beer tastings, more entertainment, crafts and food. The popular Raft Race is the main event at 2:00pm; teams compete to keep their home-made raft afloat for as long as possible in hopes of winning the coveted Tea Cup. If you are thinking of staying over for the weekend go to  


2018 Edna Ross Award Recipient – Bob Ramsey!

The Edna Ross Award is given annually to a local business person for outstanding service to the community. The award was created by Chestertown Tea Party Festival organizers in 2011 to honor Ross and all she had done for Chestertown. PAST RECIPIENTS


2018 Grand Marshal – Kate Livie!

The Parade Grand Marshal rides in the parade and greets festival goers! PAST RECIPIENTS

Contact Us

Mailing address: Chestertown Tea Party Festival, P.O. Box 526, Chestertown, Maryland 21620
Executive Committee:
  • Sabine Harvey –  President
  • Lamonte Cooke –  Vice President
  • Stephen Meehan – Treasurer
  • Stephen Lozar – Secretary

Organizing Committee:
  • Steve Atkinson - Social Media
  • Bonnie Clark
  • Butch Clark  - Operations
  • John Dolgos - Operations
  • Andy Goddard - Entertainment
  • Sabine Harvey - Colonial Village, Wine/Beer tasting
  • Joe Holt - Artisans, Sponsorships
  • Linda Kuiper - Artisans
  • Kate Livie  - Walking Tours, Raft Race
  • Stephen Meehan - Operations
  • Carolyn Meekins - Costumes
  • Mary Simmons - Parade
  • Hope Thomas  - Food Vendors
  • Pam Vogel - Costumes
  • Patsy Whiteley - Information Booth
  • Main Street Chestertown - Street Party
Please use email to reach the festival committee for any specific questions.
What we do: Throughout the year, the festival organizers meet a variety of challenges. Some are particular to the Tea Party and many are shared by all non-profit organizations. Among those shared challenges is the need to provide financial stability while accomplishing the group's mission. Over the years, through good times and bad, the organization has maintained an average of just enough money to seed the following year's event. We are happy, therefore, when fellow non-profit organizations also benefit from the festival because we have firsthand understanding of the concern for fundraising. About twenty groups make money by selling food to festival-goers. Together, these groups annually make more than $75,000 in funds that are transformed into community services. Consequently, we take pride from the fact that we indirectly contribute to the quality of life we experience in this wonderful place. Facilitating fundraising, however, is only one facet of the festival. Our mission is to provide a greater understanding of the area's history, which strengthens our local sense of identity and offers a meaningful perspective on our unique past. Throughout the years, thousands of schoolchildren have been inspired to investigate the nation's roots because of the reenactment of the Chestertown Tea Party. Our job is heritage education. We understand that with an ongoing infusion of energy and creativity, there is vast potential. We are excited by the possibilities and welcome your help as well as insight. Producing the festival requires a sacrifice from many, whether money, time, or convenience. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have given throughout the years and who continue to offer their support in innumerable ways.


We need you, yes YOU!

To volunteer at this year’s Tea Party Festival, please look at the list of available positions on our page and even if you can only spare an hour, we greatly appreciate it. If you scroll down and click on the date of the Tea Party Weekend, you will see the list of duties for each day. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be here this year which will bring in an even larger crowd and we can really use your help. Thank you for considering this! CLICK FOR VOLUNTEER SIGN UP
Chestertown Tea Party Festival