Chestertown Tea Party Festival

Chestertown Tea Party Festival

Late May
When the British passed the Boston Port Act closing the Port of Boston until complete restitution had been made for the tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party, it unleashed a wave of anger throughout the American colonies. Shortly after the news reached Chestertown, Maryland, the brigantine Geddes dropped anchor in Chestertown harbor on May 13, 1774. Word went out that the Geddes was carrying a small shipment of tea, and 10 days later a group of local residents boarded the ship and dumped the tea in the Chester River.
Every year during the Chestertown Tea Party Festival the rebellion is reenacted. The local merchants gather at the town park, where they voice their opposition to the British tax on tea. The crowd winds its way down High Street to the river, where the "colonists" board a ship—usually a reproduction of an historic vessel—and throw its cargo of tea (and some of its crew) into the river. Other festival events include a colonial parade with fife and drum corps, exhibits and demonstrations of 18th-century American crafts, walking tours of Chestertown, clog dancing and fiddling, horse-and-carriage rides, and tall ship cruises. Typical Eastern Shore foods are served, such as Maryland fried chicken, barbequed ribs, "chitlins," crab cakes, she-crab soup, and fried clams.
CONTACTS:
Kent County
Tourism Dev. Office
400 High St.
Chestertown, MD 21620
410-778-0416; fax: 410-778-2746
www.chestertownteaparty.com
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-2076
www.loc.gov
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