CHESTERTOWN — After a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chestertown Tea Party is coming back strong.

In addition to the signature Tea Party reenactment on Saturday, May 28, the three-day festival is promising more vendors than ever, the very popular U.S. Navy band Country Current and a pyromusical display — and that’s not all.

The festival kicks off Friday, May 27 with a street party at the foot of High Street from 5 to 9 p.m. hosted by Main Street Chestertown. Music will be provided by the Best Kept Soul (BKS) band offering soul, rock and R&B tunes.

There will be a variety of food trucks, and wine and beer will be available for purchase.

The Colonial parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 28 will be the truest indicator that the Tea Party Festival is underway. Fife and drum groups, school and community bands, and others will march down High Street.

Largo High School’s award-winning Blue and White Marching Machine is among the confirmed parade participants.

The 1st Battalion Maryland Loyalists, 1st Maryland Regiment, 1st Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, 4th Company Brigade of Guards and Clotz’s Battalion will set up camp on the shores of the Chester River and perform maneuvers at the courthouse prior to the reenactment.

The Heritage Village, located on the courthouse lawn, features Colonial chocolate making, beer brewing, grocers, sutlery, woodworking and blacksmithing. Highlights will include a presentation by members of the Lenape Nation and a portrayal of Benjamin Banneker, an innovative Black astronomer, mathematician and naturalist.

Walking tours of historic Chestertown will be available from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Performers in the downtown on Saturday will include strolling Colonial musicians, rousing sea chanties, English country dancers, cloggers, country, bluegrass, soul and R&B musicians, and a children’s’ jug band.

Yvette Hynson and the Sumner Hall Children’s Choir will perform at 11:45 a.m. Their repertoire is said to include Aretha Franklin’s iconic R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Country Current, the U.S. Navy’s premier country-bluegrass ensemble, is the featured act on the festival’s main stage scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

At the Garfield Center for the Arts will be a presentation honoring Phyllis Wheatley, the first published Black poet; virtuoso musician Stephen Christoff playing Colonial music on a variety of instruments; and Katherine Fahey and her Crankie show, an old-fashioned storytelling art form using a long illustrated scroll wound on two spools.

A fireworks display set to music, which is a first for the Tea Party, will be set off at dusk from Wilmer Park and visible all around Chestertown.

The fun continues Sunday afternoon in Wilmer Park with the Tea Party Beer Fest, complete with live music, craft beers from eight different local breweries, artisan vendors and the Raft Race. Children’s activities will include face painting, a puppet show, instrument making followed by playing in a jug band.

The fireworks display is made possible with leading support of co-sponsors Cross Street Realtors and Gillespie & Son Inc. Major festival funding is provided by Duke Law LLC, E.L.B. Incorporated, Hogans Agency and Leaf Filter.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit

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