To the editor: On behalf the Sultana Education Foundation, I want to thank everyone who visited Chestertown’s waterfront this past weekend to take part in Sultana’s annual Downrigging Festival. Over the course of three days over 1,000 people went sailing on the assembled fleet of Tall Ships, 3,000-plus guests came to hear bluegrass in the Downrigging “Festival Village,” and thousands more participated in exhibits, concerts, lectures and events throughout the town.

While Downrigging is spearheaded by the Sultana Education Foundation, its success is the result of organizations and individuals from across the region. We are grateful to our 50-plus sponsors and event partners and to the 75-plus volunteers who planned and prepared for weeks to make Downrigging possible.

We are particularly grateful to the Town of Chestertown, the staff at the Chestertown Marina, the Chestertown Police Department, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company and the Town’s Public Works staff for the essential support they provided. To a person, the Town’s staff was supportive, professional and enthusiastic.

While government assistance was critical to the festival, we are proud that 96% of Downrigging’s underwriting support and income came from private businesses and individuals. Thanks to this support, more than 50% of the weekend’s events were free and the festival generated over $70,000 in scholarship funds to underwrite environmental literacy programs for students in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester Counties.

An incredible community came together to make Downrigging 2019 possible, and everyone at Sultana is already looking forward to Downrigging 2020.

Drew McMullen


Sultana Education Foundation

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