Our History & Organization
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, Block Party, Raft Race, Street Performances, Colonial Crafts, Strolling Musicians, Local Fare, 5k & 10 mile run – entertainment, education and fun for the whole family!
On Sunday the Festival moves to Wilmer Park from noon to 4 p.m. Beer Fest featuring local craft brews, live music, artisan craft vendors, plenty of children’s activities and the infamous Raft Race!
Town ordinance prohibits dogs at the festival.
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.
Mailing address: Chestertown Tea Party Festival, P.O. Box 526, Chestertown, Maryland 21620
Thomas Hayman – President
Steven Meehan – Vice President
Lamonte Cooke – Vice President
Andy Goddard– Treasurer
Monica Sella – Secretary
Kristen Hunter – Member at Large
Nina Fleegle – Member at Large
Butch Clark – Operations
Meghan Efland – Artisans
Kate Livie – Walking Tours
Missy Yachup – Parade
Jim Bogden – Food Vendors
Wendy Wander – Volunteer Coordinator
Ivette Furneisen – Beer Fest
Monica Sella – Beer Fest
Kristen Hunter – Sponsorships
Nina Fleegle – Block Party, Artisans
Andy Goddard – Programming
Thomas Hayman – Programming, Heritage Village
Steve Meehan – Transportation
Amy Meade- Merchandise & Costumes
Lamonte Cook- Security/Emergency Response
Please use email to reach the festival committee for any specific questions.
General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Distance Run: email@example.com
Food Concession: (Local Non-Profits Only) firstname.lastname@example.org
Block Party: email@example.com
No computer? Leave a voicemail 443 924 6411