Join the revolution!

May 22-24, 2020 | Memorial Day Weekend

Schedule & Maps

Street Map

Shuttle Service

2019 Schedule

(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


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. CLICK FOR INFO

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


You may sell your wine by the glass, bottle and/or case. You will be responsible for checking valid ID/license for your customers. 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.

Premier Sponsor

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Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

General Sponsors

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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

Main Street Chestertown

Maryland Office of Tourism

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

Join the Revolution! Chestertown Colonial Tea Party Festival May 24-26, 2019 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 and join in the revolution!   If you are thinking of staying over for the weekend go to  


2019 Edna Ross Award Recipient – Ralph Dowling/People’s Bank!

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


2019 Grand Marshal – Andy McCown!

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. 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
  • Thomas Hayman - Colonial Village
  • 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.
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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