There are a couple things that come to mind when you hear the term “tea party.” One of those things may be the Boston Tea Party, the protest that took place in Boston on December 16, 1773, when angered colonists took out their frustrations on Great Britain for what they deemed unfair taxation by dumping more 300 chests of East India Company tea into the harbor. But did you know a similar act took place on Maryland’s Eastern Shore?
From May 24 through 26, relive the Chestertown Tea Party with reenactments of the resistance residents of Chestertown executed in response to the British closing the port of Boston. In May of 1774, residents of Chestertown met and established “Resolves” that forbade the selling, import and consumption of tea in Chestertown. Town legend goes that after these Resolves were put into effect, colonial patriots gathered and paraded down main street to the ship Geddes on Chester River and tossed its cargo of tea overboard.
Cheer for the “patriots” who will gather at the town center to carry out an enactment of the Chestertown Tea Party almost 250 years ago. Take in period appropriate clad parade participants and marching bands in the Colonial Parade. Along with enactments of the Tea Party, the festival also showcases colonial crafts and even see how the goods are made with live demonstrations, strolling musicians, and street performers will also be present throughout the festival. Brush up on Chestertown history with local Kent County historians during walking tours throughout the festival in the Historic District. Modern day activities such as 5K and 10K runs and a wine and craft beer tasting will be held on Sunday at Wilmer Park from noon to 4 p.m. The wine and craft beer tasting will feature Maryland wineries and craft breweries.
The Chestertown Tea Party Festival is enough to keep you busy for the day, but if you need a break, Kent county boasts a plethora of ways to make the most of your time there. Take in the views of historic Chestertown from a cruise of the Chester River, make a reservation and take a guided horseback tour from the Kent Equestrian Center — no need to be a pro horseback rider, all skill levels are welcome — or simply take in the beautiful sunset views Chestertown has to offer.