Return of the Tall Ships! – Downrigging 2017

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Tall Ships Sailing on the Chester River, Photo by Chris Cerino

Downrigging Weekend begins this Friday, Oct. 27, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 29. Now in its 17th year, Downrigging has grown, in just a short time, to become one of Chestertown’s most popular festivals, with visitors from all over coming to see the tall ships and the many activities taking place around the nautical theme.

Downrigging began in November 2001, shortly after schooner Sultana’s inaugural season. Joining the Pride of Baltimore for an end-of-season sail on the Chester River, the two ships marveled at the fall foliage and brisk sailing weather. The two captains decided to do it again the following year — and so a tradition was launched.

Schooner Sultana

Pride of Baltimore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downrigging is Sultana’s celebration, but she’s joined by tall ships from all over the Eastern Seaboard. Among the participating ships this year, in addition to Pride of Baltimore, are Kalmar Nyckel, Lynx, A.J. Meerwald, Lady Maryland, and skipjacks Ellsworth and Sigsbee. Festival attendees will have several opportunities to tour the various ships for free at their docks along the Cannon Street pier, and there are ticketed sails available on most of the ships. Prices range from $25  to $55 per passenger; click here to reserve tickets. Don’t delay, because many are already sold out!

In addition to the tall ships, there are any number of other events, including lectures, concerts, art exhibits, and much more.  Among the highlights are music by the Pam Ortiz Band Saturday at the Garfield Center, a talk by Jonathan Boulware on New York’s South Street Museum (of which he is the director), a Classic Car parade of vintage Ferraris, art exhibits by Marc Castelli at Massoni Art and the Sultana Center, and fireworks a display Friday night along the waterfront. This year introduces a new event – the Friday evening Parade of Lighted Boats down High Street starting at 6:45 pm. See the complete schedule below for many other events!  More information at the Sultana Downrigging website.

The Schooner Sultana

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tour the Tall Ships (select ships only)
12:00-2:00pm / The Chestertown Waterfront – Free

Pub Fare on the River Packet
12:00-5:00pm / Onboard the River Packet at the Foot of High Street

SAIL THE TALL SHIPS (select ships only)
3:00-5:00pm / Departing from the Waterfront

Private Boat Arrival
3:00-5:00pm / Visible from the Waterfront

The Tall Ships Parade Home
4:30-5:00pm / Visible from the Waterfront

Food & Drink on the Waterfront
5:00-9:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Music: Shelby Hotwire
5:00-7:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Exhibit:  Marc Castelli – Swinging the Lantern / Oyster Bar
5:00-7:30pm / Massoni Art

Downrigging Weekend Fireworks, photo by Michael Wootton

Opening Reception:  Building Sultana – A Selection of Marc Castelli Paintings
5:00-7:00pm / Havemeyer Hall / Sultana’s Holt Center / 200 South Cross Street

Open-House at Sultana’s Holt Center
5:00-7:00pm / Sultana’s Holt Center / 200 South Cross Street

River Packet Fireworks Cruise and Dinner
6:00-8:00pm / Boarding at the Foot of High Street / $60

Tall Ships Illuminated
6:30-9:00pm / The Chestertown Waterfront

Lighted Boat Parade on High Street
6:45pm / Visible Along High Street

Fireworks
7:30pm / The Chestertown Waterfront

Lecture: Street of Ships – The Recovery and Rebirth of New York’s South Street Seaport Museum with Jonathan Boulware, Executive Director
8:00pm / The Garfield Center for the Arts / 210 High Street

Music: The High & Wides
9:00pm – 1:00am / The Fish Whistle Restaurant

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dock Dogs
8:00am – 5:00pm / Kingstown Farm, Home and Garden / 7119 Church Hill Road, Chestertown

Tour the Tall Ships 
9:00am-10:00am / Chestertown Waterfront – Free

A 1955 Morgan +4 Drophead Coupe will be featured as part of Downrigging Weekend’s new Keels & Wheels exhibit

Classic Cars and Boats – Ferrari Day
9:00am-5:00pm / Ferraris Arrive at 11:00am / Foot of High Street

Exhibit:  Building Sultana – A Selection of Marc Castelli Paintings
10:00am-4:00pm / Havemeyer Hall / Sultana’s Holt Center / 200 South Cross Street

Children’s Activities at the Holt Center
10:00am-4:00pm / Sultana’s Holt Center /  200 South Cross Street

Model Boat & Ship Exhibit at the Holt Center
10:00am-4:00pm / Sultana’s Holt Center /  200 South Cross Street

Exhibit: Marc Castelli – Swinging the Lantern
10:00am-7:00pm / Massoni Art / 203 High Street

River Arts Studio Tour
10:00am-5:00pm / Various Locations

Ship’s cannon

SAIL THE TALL SHIPS
10:30am-1:00pm / Departing from the Waterfront

Ferrari Parade Down High Street with the Ferrari Club of America
11:00am (approx.) / Visible Along High Street

Food & Drink on the Waterfront
11:00am-5:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Music:  The Dovetail Trio
11:00am-1:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Book Talk: Jay Fleming on Working the Water
11:00am / The Book Plate / 112 S. Cross St.

Fish Fry & Drinks on the River Packet
11:00am-4:00pm / Onboard the River Packet at the Foot of High Street

Crab Skiff Rumble
11:30am / The Chestertown Waterfront

Stern of Sultana

Tall Ships Parade Home
12:30-1:00pm / Visible from the Waterfront

Music: The Chestertown Ukulele Club
1:00-2:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

SAIL ON THE TALL SHIPS
2:30-5:00pm / Departing from the Waterfront

Music: Hurdy-Gurdy at the Foot of High Street with Brian McCandless
3:00-4:00pm / Foot of High Street by the River Packet

Music: The Lions of Bluegrass
3:00-5:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Book Talk:  Wendy Mitman Clarke on Still Water Bending
3:00pm / The Book Plate /  112 S. Cross Street

Lions of Bluegrass

Crab Skiff Rumble
3:30pm / The Chestertown Waterfront

The Tall Ships Parade Home
4:30-5:00pm / Visible from the Waterfront

Book Release:  Marc Castelli, Building Sultana
6:00pm / Swain Geography Classroom / Sultana’s Holt Center / 200 South Cross Street

Tall Ships Illuminated
6:30-9:00pm / The Chestertown Waterfront

View the Fleet Cruise & Dinner on the River Packet
7:00-9:00pm / Departing from the Foot of High St. / $40

Kalmar Nyckel

Concert: Pam Ortiz Band
8:00pm / The Garfield Center for the Arts / 210 High Street / $15

Music: Levi Stephens and the Working Class
9:00pm – 1:00am / The Fish Whistle Restaurant

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dock Dogs
8:30am – 2:30pm / Kingstown Farm, Home and Garden / 7119 Church Hill Road, Chestertown

Chester River Challenge 5k & Half Marathon
8:00am Registration / 9:00am Start / Wilmer Park

 

Classic Cars and Boats
10:00am-4:00pm / Foot of High Street

Sunday Brunch Cruise on the River Packet
10:00am-Noon / Departing from the Foot of High St. / $30

Tour the Tall Ships
10:00am-Noon / The Chestertown Waterfront – Free

River Arts Studio Tour
10:00am-5:00pm / Various Locations

Food & Drink on the Waterfront
11:00am-4:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Music: Dovetail Trio
11:00am-1:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

Exhibit: Marc Castelli – Swinging the Lantern
11:00am-3:00pm / Massoni Art

 

Exhibit:  Building Sultana – A Selection of Marc Castelli Paintings
11:00am-4:00pm / Havemeyer Hall / Sultana Education Center / 200 South Cross Street

John Smith’s Chesapeake: An Interactive Voyage
11:00am/ Swain Geography Classroom / Sultana’s Holt Center / 200 S. Cross Street

SAIL THE TALL SHIPS
1:00-3:30pm / Departing from the Waterfront

Music: Benji Price 
1:30-3:00pm / Festival Tent Behind the Fish Whistle Restaurant

John Smith’s Chesapeake: An Interactive Voyage
2:00pm/ Sultana Education Center / 200 S. Cross Street

Tall Ships Parade Home
3:00-3:30pm / Visible from the Chestertown Waterfront

 

Cruise & Dinner on the River Packet
4:00-6:00pm / Departing from the foot of High St. / $30

Music: Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble
4:00-5:00pm / Emanuel Church / 101 N. Cross Street

The Downrigging Fleet at Dawn, photo by Chris Cerino

 

Tall Ships Illuminated
6:30-9:00pm / The Chestertown Waterfront

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