THE RAFT RACE
Sunday, May 28th, 2023
Starting Gun: 2:30 p.m. Sharp! – Arrive: 1:30 p.m.
Don’t be late, we won’t wait.
Location: Wilmer Park, Chestertown
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.
Open to the public, this race invites teams of entrants to display feats of engineering and creativity, with rafts ranging from barely-floating to truly incredible. The homemade flotilla makes its way around a short course located just off Chestertown’s Wilmer Park, and spectators can watch the action from the Lelia Lynson Pavilion or the park’s waterfront area.
In this off-beat event, not-so-sleek racing machines compete for different awards acknowledging the buoyancy, construction, beauty, and navigational abilities of the different teams. The coveted Tea Cup, the race’s highest honor, is awarded to the raft with the best synthesis of creativity, engineering, and speed.
The Tea Cup:
presented to the raft with the best synthesis of creativity, engineering, and speed – chosen from the first five finishers of the race.
The Fabulous Flotsam Award:
presented to the raft more likely to cause a spectacle than win the race.
The DaVinci Award:
presented to the raft with the most unorthodox form of locomotion.
The Van Gogh Award:
presented to the most artistic raft.
The Flop Award:
presented to the raft with the most impressive failure.
The Junior Cup Award:
presented to the raft with the best synthesis of creativity, engineering, and speed – chosen from the first three finishers of the Junior Division. Rafts with entire crews 15 years or less in age can compete in the Junior Division, but are not excluded from winning in the Adult Division.
presented to the raft with the Best Bribe.
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