Kent Is­land Day held in His­toric Stevensville

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — A few hun­dred Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents gath­ered in His­toric Stevensville on Satur­day, May 20, to par­tic­i­pate in the 40th an­nual Kent Is­land Day.

The cel­e­bra­tion is hosted by the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety an­nu­ally on the third Satur­day in May. Peo­ple be­gan the day’s fes­tiv­i­ties by lin­ing the streets watch­ing more than 30 cars, floats, walk­ers and boats pass through for the open­ing pa­rade.

Start­ing from Kent Is­land Ele­men­tar y School, pa­rade par­tic­i­pants made their way down Main Street and onto Love Point Road in Stevensville, pass­ing crowds of friends, fam­i­lies and com­mu­nity mem­bers of all ages.

The 2017 Kent Is­land Day pa­rade Grand Mar­shal was Myr­tle Br­us­cup, who was es­corted through town sit­ting on the back of an old Ford Mus­tang. Br­us­cup, known as the “Grand Lady of Kent Is­land,” is a long­time Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety mem­ber.

Maryland Sen. Steve Her­shey be­gan the fes­tiv­i­ties on stage by read­ing the orig­i­nal state procla­ma­tion declar­ing Kent Is­land Day back 40 years ago.

The procla­ma­tion, signed in 1977 by Gov. Blair Lee, states that Kent Is­land was the first English speak­ing set­tle­ment in Maryland and the third in the United States af­ter Jamestown, Va., and Ply­mouth, Mass.

It stated the the procla­ma­tion was made to “ap­pro­pri­ately ob­serve the her­itage and his­tory of Kent Is­land.”

“Not a whole lot of words but they mean a whole lot for us here on Kent Is­land, KI Her­itage So­ci­ety Pres­i­dent Jack Brod­er­ick said. “And the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety I’m proud to say still works very hard to­day to dis­cover, iden­tify, ex­plore and pre­serve the her­itage of Kent Is­land.”

Dur­ing the over­cast day with tem­per­a­tures in the mid-60s, clubs, or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­pa­nies set up in­for­ma­tional booths in the His­toric District for at­ten­dees to view.

Some of those in­for­ma­tional and en­ter­tain­ment booths in­cluded arche­ol­o­gist Dr. Dar­rin Low­ery, who is af­fil­i­ated with the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion and the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware; the Ch­e­sa­peake In­de­pen­dent Blues War of 1812 re-en­ac­tors; and ex­otic an­i­mals like camels and ze­bras.

Low­ery, who had mul­ti­ple tables filled with East­ern Shore ar­ti­facts in glass cases, talked with at­ten­dees and an­swered ques­tions about his pre­vi­ous digs and re­search, and also held gen­eral his­tor y con­ver­sa­tions with those en­gag­ing him.

Be­fore get­ting to the wildlife, which also in­cluded a tor­toise, ven­dors were set up sell­ing a range of food and drinks. Near the food ven­dors also was a stage that had per­for­mances through­out the day. The mu­si­cal ar­range­ments in­cluded the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Com­mu­nity Band, Kent Is­land Jazz Band, Mat­a­peake Mid­dle School Cho­rus, Rem­nant Gospel Singers, Gray and Blue Grass Band, and the Back­yard Blues band.

Through­out the day the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety had do­cents at the His­toric Stevensville sites, which were open for peo­ple to walk through and ex­pe­ri­ence.

“There’s a great deal to be learned to­day about this won­der­ful place we call Kent Is­land,” Brod­er­ick said.

PHOTOS BY MIKE DAVIS

A com­mem­o­ra­tive float for the Cen­ten­nial of Kent Is­land win­ning its bat­tle against the War De­part­ment in 1917 was cre­ated by the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety for the Kent Is­land Day pa­rade in down­town Stevensville on May 20.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Queen Anne’s County Lit­tle Miss Farm Bureau Wil­low Win­ter­stein waves while on the back of a con­vert­ible driv­ing through Stevensville in the Kent Is­land Day pa­rade on May 20.

Nancy Cook walks down the road in Stevensville dur­ing the Kent Is­land Day pa­rade rep­re­sent­ing the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety. The pa­rade was held on Satur­day, May 20.

Josh and Jeff Jaros with Ch­e­sa­peake Church of Christ were pro­mot­ing its Va­ca­tion Bi­ble School pro­gram dur­ing the Kent Is­land Day fes­tiv­i­ties on Satur­day, May 20.

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