Our 2020 Vendors
We are so grateful for their continued support of the Chestertown Tea Party Festival.
MAY 27 – 29, 2022
It is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Tea Party Festival for May of 2021. Our overriding concern continues to be the health and safety of our vendors, our entertainers, our volunteers, our festival attendees, and our community.
There is a silver lining. This gives the Tea Party Committee plenty of time to ensure that the 2022 Chestertown Tea Party will be more entertaining, more educational, feature even more delicious food and a diverse array of colonial crafts and vendors. Not to mention more time for those intrepid raft racers to dream up new and fabulous designs of locomotion.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the festival in 2022.
In response to British Parliament’s closing of the port of Boston, the citizens of Chestertown, Maryland met in May of 1774 and set forth “Resolves” forbidding importing, selling, or consuming tea in Chestertown. According to local legend, residents then gathered at the town center, marched down High Street to the brigantine Geddes, which was anchored in the Chester River, and tossed her cargo of tea overboard. The annual reenactment of that event is the centerpiece of the Chestertown Tea Party Festival. The re-enactment is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. All Festival events take place along the Chester River and in the historic district of 18th-century Chestertown, Maryland. There is no admission charge to the Festival.
Start training now for this year’s Classic Distance 10 Mile Run and 5k Run/Walk. Or join the festival-goers that line High Street each year to cheer the passing of colonial militia, marching bands, costume-garbed children and more in the Colonial Parade. A Walking Tour of the historic district is offered to visitors and local residents. The tour is conducted by trained docents who are residents of Kent County. Not only can you purchase many handcrafted Colonial goods at the Festival, but you can also see a live demonstration of how those items are made. On Sunday, challenge yourself and your engineering skills by competing in this year’s Annual Raft Race. You’ll be amazed at the sites and sounds of the Chestertown Tea Party Festival!
Tea Toss Reenactment, Colonial Parade, Street Party, Raft Race, Street Performances, Colonial Crafts, Strolling Musicians, Local Fare, 5k & 10 mile run and more including…
Wine and Craft Beer Tasting held on Sunday at Wilmer Park from noon to 4 p.m. The event will feature local Maryland wineries and craft brewers.
Town ordinance prohibits dogs at the festival.
Chestertown Tea Party Festival, P.O. Box 526, Chestertown, Maryland 21620
Sabine Harvey – President
Lamonte Cooke – Vice President
Susan McRae – Treasurer
Stephen Lozar – Secretary
Butch Clark – Operations
John Dolgos – Operations
Lena Ellwanger – Press
Joe Holt – Artisans
Linda Kuiper – Artisans
Kate Livie – Walking Tours, Raft Race
Mary Simmons – Parade
Hope Thomas – Food Vendors
Steve Atkinson – Social Media Marketing, Photography
Aundra Anderson – Street Party
Andy Goddard – Programming
Juanita Weiczoreck – Programming, Colonial Village
Patsy Whiteley – Information Booth
Jane Nevins – Costumes
Please use email to reach the festival committee for any specific questions.
General Information: email@example.com
Street Party: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Concession: (Local Non-Profits Only) email@example.com
Distance Run: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking Tours: email@example.com
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.
(schedule subject to change without notice!)
Saturday, May 26, 2018
8:00 am Classic Distance Run
10:00am Colonial Parade
2:00pm Colonial Reenactment
Sunday, May 27, 2018
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:
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.
T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST – NEW!
The purpose of the contest is to create a design for the annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival (CTPF) t-shirt. The CTPF has been held annually since 1976. The Festival celebrates the colonial past of Chestertown, including the alleged throwing of tea into the Chester River. The design will be featured on the back of the annual t-shirt. It may be used online or in printed material as well.
|Non-Profit Booths are informational in nature. If your organization also wants to sell items, you will need a different registration form. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org|
NON-PROFIT FOOD VENDORS
|Non-Profit organizations located in Kent County are invited to apply for a space in our food vendor area. Please contact email@example.com for more information.|
|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.|
CHESTERTOWN FARMERS/ARTISANS MARKET BOOTHS
|You must be an approved Chestertown Farmers’ Market or Artisans’ Market vendor by the Town of Chestertown.|
CHESAPEAKE WINE TRAILS VINEYARDS/WINERIES
|You may sell your wine by the glass, bottle and/or case. You will be responsible for checking valid ID/license for your customers.|
Chestertown Police Department – 410-778-1800
Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company
Dick Goodall and KRM
Humane Society of Kent County
Kent County Detention Center
Kent County Historical Society
Kent County Office of Tourism
Kent County Public Library
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
Celebrate Chestertown’s Colonial Heritage
Chestertown Colonial Tea Party Festival
May 24-26, 2019
Join the Revolution! Chestertown Tea Party Festival May 24 – 26
The town of Chestertown invites everyone to join them in celebrating its colonial past with the 43rd annual Tea Party Festival, Memorial Day Weekend, May 24- 26. This festival commemorates the 1774 event, where, in revolt against British tax on tea, local lore has it the disgruntled citizens marched down to the Chester River and tossed tea overboard from the brigantine Geddes.
The festival kicks off Friday at 6 pm with a free Street Party at the foot of High Street, on the water’s edge, complete with music by Del Fox, craft beer and a variety of food trucks. Saturday starts with the Chestertown Tea Party Classic Run (5k or 10 miles). The popular Colonial Parade begins at 10pm, featuring marching bands – including the award winning Largo High Marching Machine, and the US Army Old Guard Fife & Drums.
Step into the 19th Century at the Colonial Village, and view a military unit encampment, complete with a blacksmith, seamstress, Cabinet of Curiosities, and colonial dancing. Children’s activities include a Punch & Judy puppet theatre, facepainting, story telling and a jug band. There is even a chocolate maker!
Guests can enjoy the more than 100 craft vendors lining the street, take a historic walking tour, and partake of local food.
New this year – Levram the Great, a colonial conjurer, will perform two shows at the Garfield Center for the Arts, followed by a Crankie! What’s a Crankie? A moving panorama is an old story- telling form, an illustrated scroll set onto spools in a viewing box. The artwork is hand cranked and accompanied by a narrative or song. This Crankie will be accompanied by Crankie artist Katherine Fahey and Marc Dykeman ( of the High & Wides band).
Another do not miss show at the Garfield, Sumner Hall’s musical presentation of the story of Ona Judge, slave of Martha Washington, featuring singer Karen Somerville and a cast of 19 musicians, singers and dancers.
Main Stage entertainment features popular bluegrass/old time/hillbilly string music band, the High & Wides, the Rock Candy Cloggers and the seafarin’ group, the Jolly Tars.
The much – anticipated Tea Party Re-enactment begins at 2pm, with colonists marching down the street to the water and rowing out to throw the Tea overboard.
The Party continues Sunday, in Wilmer Park, along the scenic Chester, with crafts, food, children’s activities, live music featuring Joe Holt and Brad Chaires, local wine & beer tasting, and Sunday’s highlight, the annual Raft Race at 2pm. Who will win the coveted Tea Party Cup?
In addition, the Edna Lockwood, the last historic sailing bugeye in the world, will be visiting Chestertown over Memorial Day weekend as part of a National Park Service-funded heritage tour around the Chesapeake Bay. Owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Edna Lockwood recently underwent a two-year restoration of her nine-log hull. During her stay, CBMM staff members will offer free deck tours, giving guests a chance to explore the bugeye while she’s docked. Open for tours 10 am – 4 pm.
For more information please visit ChestertownTeaParty.org and join in the revolution!
If you are thinking of staying over for the weekend go to www.kentcounty.com.
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.
The Chestertown Tea Party Committee is proud to announce that Captain Andrew McCown of Betterton is this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal. “Cap’n Andy” will be temporarily trading his customary perch atop a Tea Party Re-enactment barrel to kick off the weekend events.
McCown, a Chestertown native, has been involved with the Chestertown Tea Party Festival since its inception. He recalls painting roadside signs about the first festival for festival founders Sonny Usilton and Louis Anthony.
He first participated in the re-enactment as a student at Washington College in 1973, and he has participated in every re-enactment since with exception of only four that he was unable to attend.
Since 1978 Andrew has been the organizer of the script and all of the actors and actresses. There are often locals that he calls on to participate, but the majority of the re-enactors are fellow outdoor educators from Echo Hill Outdoor School where Andrew is an Associate Director.
In addition to Andrew’s extensive involvement in the re-enactment, he served faithfully on the Board of Directors of the Tea Party for many years.
McCown has been an educator with Echo Hill Outdoor School since 1977. He currently also serves as Associate Director, Director of Summer Programs, and Director of the Historic Fleet at EHOS.
An accomplished spoken word artist, Captain Andy performs with the group Chesapeake Scenes, paying tribute through songs and stories to the people who live and work on the waters of the magnificent Chesapeake Bay.
McCown has been extensively involved on the board of ShoreRivers and the Chester River Association for many years, championing the river he loves.