The 6th annual Legacy Day was held in Chestertown on Saturday, Aug. 17. This year’s theme was the Historic African-American Churches of Kent County. A reception was held on Friday in the Historical Society’s Bordley Center to honor the churches and the various volunteers. The Bordley exhibit, summarizing the history of Kent County’s black churches, will be open through the end of August.
During the reception, there was a surprise visit from Harriet Tubman (as portrayed by Janet Johnson) who spoke about her role in liberating enslaved people on the Underground Railroad on the Eastern Shore of Maryland the 1850s before the American Civil War.
The weather on Saturday–though hot–was good. There had been a worrying forecast for occasional showers and then a few drops did begin to fall just around five but it stopped as suddenly as it began, as if in respect for Legacy Day. So the parade started right on time. First came the cars and motorcycles. The Grand Marshals, Rev. Bobby Brown and Rev. Mae Etta Moore, arrived in a beautiful classic car.
The cars and trucks were spectacular. They ranged from newer sports cars — many convertibles with the roofs down –to classic cars including a model T, a 1936 vintage, and one of the highly-prized 1956 Chevy Belaires. There were also many motorcycles and trucks. After the parade, all the cars were parked together on display for most of the evening on Park Row and spring St. near the Post Office.
Following the parade, there was a street party with music by Quiet Fire and DJ Lonnie Butcher, with dancing until 10 p.m. This year’s festival featured the return of the dance contest, a popular feature the first year of Legacy Day. The Dance contest was divided into 3 age divisions: under 9, 9 to 16, and adults. Adults had the opportunity to compete either as solo dancers or as couples.