Tall ship fes­ti­val com­ing to Ch­ester­town

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment -

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The Sul­tana Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion has an­nounced the sched­ule for its an­nual Down­rig­ging Week­end Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Fes­ti­val set for Friday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 30 in Ch­ester­town.

Now in its 16th year, Down­rig­ging Week­end is one of the largest an­nual tall ship gath­er­ings in North Amer­ica and fea­tures four days of tall ship sails, deck tours, con­certs, lec­tures, films, and ex­hibits.

Unique among Tall Ship Fes­ti­vals on the East Coast, Down­rig­ging Week­end of­fers visi­tors the op­por­tu­nity to sail on a fleet of tall ships.

Over the course of Down­rig­ging Week­end, a fleet seven his­toric ves­sels — in­clud­ing Kal­mar Ny­ckel (the state ship of Delaware), A.J. Meer­wald (the state ship of New Jersey), and the schooners Pride of Bal­ti­more II, Lady Mary­land, and Sul­tana will take pas­sen­gers out for four joint sails on the Ch­ester River.

Sail­ing tick­ets be­gin at $25 and are avail­able at sul­tanae­d­u­ca­tion.org. More in­for­ma­tion about the event and a com­plete list of events with times are avail­able at that same web­site.

Mak­ing its first-ever ap­pear­ance at Down­rig­ging Week­end will be the U.S. Naval Academy’s 1929 schooner Sum­mer­wind. This sto­ried ves­sel was a fix­ture on the coast of New Eng­land for decades, served as a sub-hunter in World War II, and plied the wa­ters of the Mediter­ranean Sea as a char­ter ves­sel be­fore re­turn­ing to the United States in 2006 for a com­plete restora­tion.

Sum­mer­wind was re­cently do­nated to the U.S. Naval Academy where she is used to pro­vide on­the-wa­ter train­ing for mid­ship­men.

New for Down­rig­ging Week­end 2016 will be the ad­di­tion of the Del­marva Dock Dogs com­pe­ti­tion hosted by Kingstown Farm, Home and Gar­den. Tak­ing place on both Saturday and Sunday, this com­pe­ti­tion will see dogs from all over the re­gion com­pete to see who can leap the fur­thest. Lo­cal dog own­ers are wel­come to en­ter their dogs in the com­pe­ti­tion and reg­is­tra­tion and sched­ul­ing in­for­ma­tion can be found at dock­dogs.com.

Down­rig­ging Week­end 2016 will ben­e­fit from a ma­jor new venue for the fes­ti­val in the form of the Sul­tana Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion’s newly con­structed LEED (Lead­er­ship in En­ergy and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­sign) Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter. This sta­teof-the art fa­cil­ity will host an open­ing night party on Friday, Oct. 28, as well as a day of chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties and a lec­ture by ESPN/NBC Sail­ing an­a­lyst Gary Job­son on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The fes­ti­val’s events will be rounded out by an ex­hibit of clas­sic cars and boats on the water­front in con­junc­tion with the An­tique & Clas­sic Boat So­ci­ety, con­certs at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts by Holy Ghost Tent Re­vival and the Pam Or­tiz Band and per­for­mances at the Fish Whis­tle Res­tau­rant by the Salt­wa­ter String Band and Levi Stephens.

There will also be a wa­ter­side 5K and half-marathon hosted by the Ch­ester River As­so­ci­a­tion, a new ex­hibit by artist Marc Castelli at Mas­soni Art, food and cruises on Ch­ester­town’s own River Packet, book talks by Stu­art Walker and Roger Taylor at the Book Plate, a “Crab Skiff Rum­ble” with the Smith Is­land Crab Skiff As­so­ci­a­tion, free oys­ters on the half shell with Echo Hill Out­door School, a pre­sen­ta­tion on black wa­ter­men at Sum­ner Hall, the ever-pop­u­lar ShoreVines wine tasting pav­il­ion.

And, fi­nally, the enor­mously pop­u­lar night­time il­lu­mi­na­tion of the tall ships and fire­works dis­play will be held over Ch­ester­town’s his­toric har­bor.

PHOTO BY CHRIS CERINO

Tall ships like these will be fea­tured at Sul­tana’s Down­rig­ging Week­end on Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 30 in Ch­ester­town.

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