Ch­ester­town Tea Party Festival set this week­end

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment - By LEANN SCHENKE lschenke@thekent­coun­

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The an­nual Ch­ester­town Tea Party Festival cel­e­brates colo­nial re­sis­tance lead­ing up to the Amer­i­can Revo­lu­tion over Me­mo­rial Day Week­end in down­town Ch­ester­town.

There is a full lineup of events cel­e­brat­ing the brave colo­nials who stood up to Bri­tish op­pres­sion, com­plete with a re-enactment of the toss­ing to Tory tea into the Ch­ester River.

“It’s a lot of peo­ple en­joy­ing them­selves and hav­ing fun,” Sabine Har­vey, pres­i­dent of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee for the festival, said. “I’m ex­cited for the whole thing. And the fore­cast looks good.”

It all be­gins with a street party at 6 p.m. Fri­day, May 26, and ends with the an­nual Me­mo­rial Day Pa­rade at 10 a.m. Mon­day, May 29.

The kick-off event, the street party, is free, with food and drink avail­able for pur­chase, live music and chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

And don’t for­get the Sneaker Creeper footrace be­gin­ning at 5:30 p.m. Fri­day at the Roy Kirby Sta­dium, Washington Col­lege. The race is for chil­dren ages 2 to 11.

Open­ing the sec­ond day of the festival Satur­day, May 27, is the an­nual Tea Party Clas­sic run at 8 a.m. in Wilmer Park.

Then at 9 a.m., streets in down­town Ch­ester­town will be closed to all traf­fic as the Bri­tish Flag is raised and the Colo­nial Vil­lage opens to vis­i­tors.

The an­nual Colo­nial Pa­rade is set for 10 a.m. and will run down High Street. Long­time pa­rade an­nouncer and Tea Party Festival vol­un­teer Thomas Yea­ger will be lead­ing the pa­rade as the 2017 Tea Party Pa­rade Grand Mar­shal.

Yea­ger is an ac­tive mem­ber of the com­mu­nity pro­fes­sion­ally, serv­ing as the county at­tor­ney for Kent County, at­tor­ney for the Kent County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices and town at­tor­ney for five mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Towns of Bet­ter­ton and Galena.

“The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps will be per­form­ing in the pa­rade this year,” Har­vey said. “We had them two years ago. They are such pro­fes­sion­als and when they are all dressed in uni­form it is spec­tac­u­lar to see.”

Fol­low­ing the pa­rade, the Edna Ross Award will be pre­sented at 11 a.m. to Dixon Valve & Cou­pling Co. CEO Dick Goodall on the main stage lo­cated at the end of Me­mo­rial Row.

Goodall is a grad­u­ate from the Vir­ginia Mil­i­tary In­sti­tute and served in the U.S. Army. In 1970, he joined DVCC, Inc., a global man­u­fac­tur­ing and distri­bu­tion com­pany, pri­mar­ily for hose cou­plings and ac­ces­sories.

Goodall was in­stru­men­tal in the start up of the Char­ac­ter Counts Kent County pro­gram, an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram that teaches stu­dents the value of good char­ac­ter. He formed Kent For­ward, with Washington Col­lege and Uni­ver­sity of Maryland Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Ch­ester­town to fo­cus on im­prov­ing the Kent County school sys­tem.

He has served on the Maryland State Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety Board, Ch­ester­town Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany Board and Kent County Cham­ber of Com­merce. He has also spent time coach­ing youth bas­ket­ball, high school swim­ming and teach­ing Sun­day school.

Spend the day vis­it­ing ar­ti­sans, sam­pling food, lis­ten­ing to live music, catch­ing a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary The­atre per­for­mance and tak­ing in the colo­nial feel of down­town Ch­ester­town on a walk­ing tour be­fore trav­el­ing back in time for the an­nual Tea Party Reen­act­ment.

The re-enactment be­gins at 2 p.m. on High Street with angry colonists de­bat­ing the hated tea tax and read­ing the famed Ch­ester­town Re­solves, be­fore launch­ing a raid on the brig­an­tine Ged­des, por­trayed by schooner Sul­tana.

Af­ter­ward, con­tinue tak­ing in all the festival has to of­fer, with more theater and live music per­for­mances, con­tin­ued tours and lots of great food.

Be­gin­ning at noon on Sun­day, May 28, there will be craft beer and wine tast­ings in Wilmer Park, hosted by the Kent County Cham­ber of Com­merce Young Pro­fes­sion­als.

“The Young Pro­fes­sion­als know a bit more about trendy and fancy beers and ciders than we do, so we were very ex­cited about this year’s part­ner­ship with them,” Har­vey said.

At 2 p.m., home­made rafts will try their best to travel down the Ch­ester River. Vis­i­tors may watch the an­nual Tea Party Raft Race from the Lelia Lyn­son Pav­il­ion or from Wilmer Park’s wa­ter­front area.

Schooner Sul­tana will be of­fer­ing pub­lic sails Sun­day and walk­ing tours of Ch­ester­town will con­tinue.

The long week­end wraps with the an­nual Me­mo­rial Day pa­rade be­gin­ning at 10 a.m. Mon­day, May 29, down High Street.

The Ch­ester­town Tea Party Festival is a fun-filled week­end for all ages, with plenty to see and do.

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