After eighteen years, one of the Eastern Shore’s favorite events is changing its tune in 2019. Literally.
The Sultana Education Foundation’s wildly popular Downrigging weekend scheduled for the weekend of November 1st made a major decision to offer the thousands of families who make their way to Chestertown every Fall to participate in some music to go with all the other fun activities that celebrate the end of the season. And, by unanimous approval by board members and volunteers alike, the Sultana decided that the bluegrass genre was the perfect fit with the education foundation’s goals for these special days of the Fall.
Like everything else the Sultana has taken since they started in 1992, this significant change was the result of over a year of planning and research. The foundation’s president Drew McCullen and his board relied on some remarkable local resources to develop a business plan. Those included the festival’s co-chairs, Rousby Quesenberry & Andrew Ferguson.
With Rousby’s career in the music industry, including concert management and long-standing friendships with some of the country’s best-known performances, it has been a natural return from his peaceful retirement in Kent County to design the event and help recruit musicians. To help in this effort is lifelong bluegrass aficionado Andy Ferguson who supplements his annual passion for its music by working during the day as a highly respected medical doctor in town. As noted in our Spy interview, these strategically placed peas in the bluegrass pod are having the time of their lives.
We talked to Rousby and Andrew, along with with Sultana board members, and fellow Downrigging co-chairs, Samantha Hollomon & Brooke Logan, on why the Sultana made this decision and what they have planned for Tall Ships and Bluegrass 2019.
This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information the Sultana Downrigging please go here.