Downrigging Weekend to feature lighted boat parade
— This year’s Downrigging Weekend will have a new feature to go along with the tall ships, wooden boats and festivities in Chestertown: a lighted boat parade.
The 17th annual festival will be held Friday, Oct. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 29.
Speaking Monday, Sultana Education Foundation President Drew McMullen said the foundation has wanted to do a lighted parade for years.
“We just haven’t had the resources to actually do it,” he said. “It’ll be a fun way for people who don’t have wooden boats or tall ships to be involved in the weekend.”
McMullen said the parade line-up will begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, near the intersection of High and South Lynchburg streets. It will start at 7 p.m. and make its way downtown. It will end at the foot of High Street at about 7:30 p.m., in time for the festival’s fireworks over the Chester River.
A $1,000 prize will be broken down for the winners of the three catagories. Those who come in first place for the “Most Original” and “Most Twinkle for the Buck” will receive $250, while first place in the “Kolossal Kilowatt” category will receive the grand prize of $500.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done this, so it’ll be a great start if we get five or six boats,” McMullen said. “If you have Christmas lights and a jon boat, this won’t be a big deal at all.”
McMullen said the foundation has been sending out notices to various organizations. He said there already has been interested feedback.
“(The Town of) Chestertown likes this idea and has been nothing but supportive,” McMullen said. “Without them, we couldn’t even begin to make it work.”
He said the deadline to enter the Downrigging lighted boat parade will be a few days before Oct. 27. This year’s festival also will celebrate the Sultana Education Foundation’s 20th anniversary.
“I’m excited. It’s really going to be awesome,” McMullen said.
To view the rules or to register for the parade, visit www.sultanaeducation.org/ public- programs/ sultanapublic-sails/ downriggingweekend-2/summerwind.