Here are some nearby locations for fireworks and other 4th of July fun.

Unfortunately, Chestertown will not have a fireworks display this year, due to budgetary restrictions. (Ignore the Google listing that claims otherwise!)

But where can you go?  We found a few places nearby.  The best is probably tonight, Wed. July 3, in Rock Hall but there are also firework displays on Thursday the 4th in Annapolis over the harbor and in Delaware in Smyrna and Middletown.

On July 4 itself, Rock Hall is pretty much humming all day with a 5-mile race starting at 8:00 am, followed by a parade from 10:00 – 11:30 am, and music, street vendors, etc. Then if you haven’t had your fill yet, you can head to Annapolis, Middletown, or Smyrna for more fireworks starting at dusk.

There are several other official Independence Day celebrations with fireworks displays within reasonable driving distance, including North East on Wed., July 3. If you’d prefer to do something on Friday, head out to Chesapeake City for a Friday, 5-10 pm celebration with music and fireworks. ($10 admission; live music). Or on Saturday, you could head a little south and east to St. Michael’s for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s big event on July 6 ($10 admission; live big band music). For details on these and others around Maryland, visit the Maryland Office of Tourism website.

Fireworks on Wednesday, July 3

Rock Hall over the harbor starting about 9 pm.  The Rock Hall display is usually the biggest and best in the area with a fabulous finale and great music during the entire display.;

North East, MD – $10 admission fee includes live music.  Can be seen in the area without tickets to the music.

Fireworks on Thursday, July 4

Smyrna, DE – Fireworks at dusk at Municipal Park in Smyrna, Delaware;

Middletown, DE – Fireworks over Silver Lake Park at dusk.

Annapolis  – Fireworks start at 9:15 pm over Annapolis Harbor in Annapolis;

Fireworks on Friday, July 5

Chesapeake City –  Fireworks  Independence Celebration & Fireworks July 5 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Pell Gardens, Bohemia Ave, Chesapeake City, MD  An evening of food, music, and fireworks. Festivities begin at 5 pm in the Pell Gardens ($10 admission; live music) with food and music. Fireworks Display – starts around 9 pm. Best Viewing is anywhere along the canal on either the north or south sides of town where the rockets will once again show their red glare over the C&D Canal. There will be food vendors and pushcarts plus light sticks for sale.

Fireworks on Saturday, July 6 

S. Michael’s  – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum July 6, 7-10 pm ($10 admission, $6 members; live big band music).  Get tickets online.

Non-Fireworks Events on July 4

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 7am-9: 30 am – Before the Parade Breakfast at Rock Hall American Legion, 21423 Sharp St., Rock Hall; $9/adult, $4/ages 4-8, ages 3 & under free; Call 410-639-7081

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 8 am – Flat Five Race at Municipal Bldg., 5585 Main St., Rock Hall; 5-mile loop through Rock Hall; Must pre-register; $15/per person; For more info or to register call 410-490-6951;

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 10am-11: 30 am – 4th of July Parade on Main St., Rock Hall; Parade lineup begins at 9 am at Rock Hall Lagoon; Floats, bands, marchers & more; More events follow the parade at the Civic Center on Main St. including opening ceremonies, dedication ceremony, country music concert, talent show & much more; Call 410-639-7719;

Rock Hall – 11am-until … – Pit Beef & Turkey Sandwiches at the Civic Center in Rock Hall; $8/ea.; Proceeds benefits Sons of American Legion; Call 410-639-7081 for more info.


Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over


MDOT MVA, State Troopers and Local Law Enforcement Officers Warn Motorists of Impaired Driving Risk During Fourth of July Weekend

JESSUP, MD (July 2, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and law enforcement officials are touting the success of the elite State Police Impaired DRiving Effort – or SPIDRE – team, and are urging motorists to plan for a safe and sober ride during the Fourth of July weekend or risk the consequences of being caught in SPIDRE’s web.

“It’s unacceptable that impaired driving crashes account for one-third of Maryland roadway fatalities each year,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “In order to arrive safely at your destination, buckle up and drive sober. If you are drinking, make a plan for a safe ride home.”

Between 2014 and 2018, 731 people died and nearly 11,000 were injured in drug and/or alcohol-involved crashes in Maryland. Administrator Nizer joined state and local officials today at the Maryland State Police (MSP) barrack in Howard County to discuss reducing fatalities and Fourth of July weekend safety.

“One of the highest priorities for Maryland State Police is to ensure the safety of all those traveling on Maryland roads and highways,” said Maj. Roland Butler, assistant chief of the MSP Field Operations Bureau. “The injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of someone’s poor decision to get behind the wheel while impaired are preventable, which is why we continue to stress the importance of sober driving.”

Formed in 2013, SPIDRE is a specially trained team of seven troopers who work in targeted areas where impaired driving is a leading cause of death and injury. Since its inception SPIDRE has been responsible for more than 3,000 arrests for suspected driving under the influence. Team members train other state police troopers and local law enforcement officers, and partner with local police departments and agencies to reduce alcohol related crashes throughout Maryland. MSP and MDOT provide funding for this effort.

“We’re proud to partner with the SPIDRE team to make our roads safer,” said Baltimore County Police Department Lt. Steve Scherba, who attended Tuesday’s event. “If you drive under the influence, you will be caught.”

Besides the risk of causing injury or death, driving under the influence or while intoxicated may result in an arrest, jail time, extensive legal costs and fines. Under the 2016 implementation of Noah’s Law, drivers convicted of DUI are also required to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program.

Consequences for first-time and repeat DUI/DWI offenders will increase on October 1, 2019, including:

  • an increase in maximum sentencing for third-time offenders from three to five years, and from three to 10 years for fourth-time offenders;
  • an additional penalty of up to 10 years in prison for a DUI/DWI offender with a prior conviction who causes death or life-threatening injury while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs;
  • an increase in jail time from three to five years for anyone convicted of vehicular homicide while impaired by drugs, and from five to 10 years if the offender has a prior DUI/DWI; and
  • doubling the penalty for first-time and subsequent offenders if they transport a minor while impaired.

As drivers take to the road during the Independence Day holiday, MDOT MVA reminds drivers to be patient, leave extra time and avoid aggressive driving as heavy traffic volume is anticipated. To plan ahead, visit for traffic information or connect to 511 from a hands-free mobile device.

The state is working to reduce crashes due to impaired driving and other causes through its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, and its success is due to the involvement of the law enforcement community. Learn more about the MDOT Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.

Contact: Kellie Boulware, MDOT MVA, 410-762-5188

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Attorney Receives 2019 Service Award


Pictured: Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals Mary Ellen Barbera, Andrea Ross, Esq, and Sharon Goldsmith of the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center.

(Easton, MD) Andrea Ross, Esq., a volunteer attorney with Mid-Shore Pro Bono, received a 2019 Maryland Pro Bono Service award earlier this month at the annual Maryland State Bar Association meeting in Ocean City, Md.

Ross was presented with the 2019 Lee A. Caplan Award in recognition for her dedication and commitment to ensuring equal access to civil legal services through her work with Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s Economic Stability Project. Since relocating to the Eastern Shore in 2013 after practicing bankruptcy law in New York City, Ross has volunteered at monthly Debtor Assistance Clinics where low-income clients receive free half-hour bankruptcy consultations with a licensed attorney.

A resident of Kent County, Ross recognized the need to expand these services beyond Talbot County and was instrumental in creating a second location for Debtor Assistance Clinics in Chestertown. During her six years as a volunteer attorney, Ross has provided 433 hours of pro bono time to 535 clients.

“While only on the Eastern Shore for a short time, Andrea recognized the unique challenges low-income clients face in a rural community. The Eastern Shore’s large land area can be a barrier to a client getting to the legal services they need. Many lack transportation and most cannot afford to take off from work for the time required to travel to a clinic or meet with an attorney,” said Sandy Brown, Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director. “In addition to providing our clients with compassionate and top-notch representation, Andrea has also been a partner and advocate in our efforts to bring civil legal services to all corners of the Eastern Shore.”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Megan Miller

By the Byways – Chesapeake City by Spy Agent 7


The federally chartered Chesapeake Country Byway begins at its furthermost northerly point in Chesapeake City. A recent journey north from Talbot County took just over an hour to cover the 62 miles.

Most know that Chesapeake City sits on both sides of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal connected by a rather spectacular bridge.

But, how many know that this 14-mile canal to our north is the third busiest canal in the world.  The canal has a rich history beginning in the 17th century when early settlers sought a way to reduce water travel between Philadelphia and Baltimore by some 300 miles. Construction was completed in 1829 thanks to the hard work of some 2,600 laborers who built the structure which is 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep.

Today, all types of watercraft move back and forth between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.

Of course, people visit Chesapeake City using all types of watercraft and vehicles!

No matter how one arrives, the area pulses with adventure. Sailing vessels and motor vessels packed the marina as summer was beginning. A group of sailors enjoyed coffee and conversation. No doubt, some were beginning their adventure and some were returning. Whether from Florida or a nearby marina, boaters were enjoying their preparations and the fellowship with other boating enthusiasts.

The area is filled with small inns, shops and restaurants. There were many people strolling the streets on the overcast day. So, even without a boat, just checking in for a weekend would provide a delightful chance to take in the history and the adventure of Chesapeake City and then travel south along the Scenic Byway. This guide can help with your own walking tour.




“The Longest Day” — A Poem for the Summer Solstice by Ed Minch



Farm field at sunrise  –  Photo by Federico Respini, Courtesy of Unsplash

The Longest Day

It snuck up on me again
timidly allowing tomorrow to be shorter
slipping slowly at first then faster
til dark overtakes light
then comes to a halt letting light start to catch up
and as it stretches into next year
it sneaks up on me again

Ed Minch, Chestertown, 2019

The Spy Near Death Experiences Dialogue: Roland Comtois


Given the popularity of the Spy’s recent interview with David LaMotte and his observations and interest in near-death experiences last month, we have been eager to continue on an ongoing dialogue with others who have personally experienced this phenonium or have helped with individuals understanding their own NDE.

So when we heard the Roland Comtois, the acclaimed spiritual medium and grief specialist was returning to the Eastern Shore this weekend for several programs related to EDE and his spiritual work in connecting those experiencing profound grief with departed loved ones, we were successful in asking him to stop by the new Spy Studio on Goldsborough Street in Easton to discuss his own experience.

In our conversation, Roland shares with us his own NDE and how this experience shaped his perceptions of life, love, and his mission of healing and comforting his patients.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. Roland will be presenting a program on June 21– Channeling Event: The St. Michaels Inn, St. Michaels, MD 7 PM to 9 PM and on June 22nd – “Through the Door’ and Channeling Event: Avalon/Stoltz Listening Room, “Through the Door” the story of Roland’s near-death experience and then the second part is channeling of messages. 8 PM to 10 PM. Tickets can be purchased through for the St. Michaels event and the other events in the area or for the Easton event.

Reflections on a Month in New Orleans by Phil Dutton


I have always thought that ours is a friendly community. Folks from other places seem to think that we are, also. My wife and I recently returned from a four week stay in New Orleans. We have visited New Orleans many times and love the city, but we wanted to get a feel for what it is like to live there. No, we aren’t considering a permanent move. The summers are too long and too hot. Living anywhere that is six feet below sea level is rolling the dice these days. Besides, we love making our home on the Eastern Shore.

The NOLA trait that made the biggest impression upon me was the engaging friendliness of the people. It didn’t matter where we were in the city. We rented a house in the Bayou St. John neighborhood which is about halfway between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. As we would meet people walking through the neighborhood, overwhelmingly we would be greeted with eye contact and a “Hello,” “How you doin’,” or “Good morning.” Everyone did it: Kids in their school uniforms walking home, older folks walking their dogs, people hustling off to work, street vendors, streetcar drivers. This happened in Mid-City, the CBD, the Garden District and Uptown. It even happened in the French Quarter which you might think would be jaded by all the obnoxious drunks from Bourbon Street. We were trying to take a selfie under the Felix’s Oyster House sign when a woman stopped and offered to take our photo. She asked us where we were from and I asked her back thinking she was a tourist, also. Cheerily, she said, “I’m from here. Just on my way to work.”

Is it just Southern Hospitality? I don’t think so. We have traveled all over the south. It is different in New Orleans. I have a theory that it comes from a sense of vulnerability as a result of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans and its rich culture of music, food, history, architecture and tradition could have been permanently lost after Katrina. I think the people of New Orleans were determined to not let that happen. They love their unique culture and the ‘vibe’ you feel there that is different than any other American city. They came back and rebuilt, determined not to lose their place.

Tourism is the lifeblood of New Orleans. I think the residents know that their future depends upon the unique vibe that brings millions of people to her every year. (And yes, the locals refer to New Orleans as “Her.”) I think they are genuinely proud of their city and want all who visit there to understand her and love her as they do.

Maybe I was more friendly as a visitor in New Orleans and open to accepting greetings. I don’t know. It didn’t feel that way. Our wonderful community relies heavily upon tourism, also. I am going to make it a point to make eye contact and greet people with a genuine and grateful greeting.  Not just tourists, but everyone. I look forward to seeing you along the way.

Phil Dutton is the co-founder of Chester Gras and leads the musical band Philip Dutton and the Alligators


July 2019 Sky-Watch


Just as Jupiter came into opposition (opposite the Sun in the sky for sky-watchers on Earth)last month, and its best position for viewing in 2019, so too does Saturn come into opposition on July 9th. Sky-watchers with telescopes will be able to get splendid images of both of the two biggest planets in our Solar System, but those without scopes will not be disappointed. Jupiter and Saturn will be on display all summer and into the fall.

Jupiter is clear of the southeast horizon by nightfall and is well up in the southern sky before midnight, unmistakable at magnitude –2.6. Telescopes reveal its colored cloud-banded surface and the changing positions of its 4 biggest moons around it. One can also detect that Jupiter appears flattened from pole to pole so that it looks wider at its equator. This is due to its rapid rotation (less than 10 hours) and its mostly gaseous composition. Binoculars will also reveal Jupiter as a disk and show its 4 big moons. Naked eye observers will delight at its shining brightness. Check it out on your local 4th of July fireworks night!

Saturn clears the southeast horizon at sunset and will be nicely positioned in the south by midnight on July 1st and by 10 pm on the 31st. Not as bright as Jupiter, Saturn is still the next brightest thing in the evening sky. Find it to the left of Jupiter

Of course, it is Saturn’s rings that make it so interesting to those with telescopes, but binoculars give a decent hint of the rings. With a telescope, the rings are seen with clear divisions between some of them and a hint of Saturn’s own bands of colored clouds. Saturn also shows 5 to 6 moons that can be spotted through a telescope in the nearby sky around it. Jupiter and Saturn are indeed a great summer treat for us.

July 20, 2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when America and the whole world heard the immortal words of Neil Armstrong, “On small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Where were you when it happened?

Though a total Solar Eclipse and a partial Lunar Eclipse occur this month, both events will be seen only by sky-watchers in Asia, the south Pacific Ocean, and Chile. The next lunar eclipse we will see is in 2020 and the next solar eclipse for us is in 2024.

Rotary Clubs in Eastern Shore and Zambia Unite to Provide Treatment for Addicted Youth


Last year, Rotary Clubs from District 7630 including Christiana Rotary, Newark Morning Club, Centerville Rotary Club, Kent Island Rotary Club and Chestertown Rotary Club all came together to support a global initiative between Chestertown Rotary and Rotary of Lusaka Central in Zambia, Central Africa.

This project was to make a drug and alcohol counseling curriculum, “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” and training accessible to Zambian-led organizations reaching out to homeless youth and wanting to help substance users.

In Lusaka, Zambia, an estimated 30,000 youth live on the streets, vulnerable to substance use (U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005). One quarter of these youth admit to using substances. Most popular are marijuana and inhalants like glue and gasoline (Lemba, 2002. Actual numbers of substance users are believed to be underreported due to stigma and lack of care (Matheson, 1999; Smith, 2011). Recently, Zambia’s Ministry of Health has been working on an alcohol policy aimed to regulate alcohol consumption; and suggested that the country’s mental health hospital, Chainama Hills, will be offering intensive rehabilitation for people with alcohol abuse to seek recovery (Maninga, 2017). The Ministry of Health and Chainama Hills College Hospital also made strides to recognize treatment for drug and alcohol use as a priority by endorsing the training in the “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” curriculum last year.

The training took place in June 2018 and the grant’s activities and follow up data collection finished earlier this month, though the effect will be felt for years to come.  36 Zambian-led organizations total were trained for free in the “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” curriculum in the cities of Lusaka and Ndola. It is a literacy-free group counseling manual that uses cognitive behavioral and rational emotive behavior therapy techniques. It guides participants through the 12 Step principles for overcoming addiction as well as related psychoeducational topics.  All these techniques of coping with addiction are explored and applied through expressive arts activities specific to Zambian culture.

Curriculum trainers were from CoLaborers International, an eastern shore based non-profit organization that produces the curriculum. Training in a US version of this same curriculum is endorsed by Maryland’s Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists for continuing education and is used at facilities across the state of MD.

Trainers for this project included Melissa Stuebing, MA,CAC-AD curriculum author and counselor,  Jason Stansbury who has served street children for 3 years at Chisomo Centers in Lusaka, Zambia, Allyson Olkowski Arnold who ran a year-long study of the curriculum in Zambia, Hjordis Lorenz who was a part of both the US and Zambia studies of the curriculum, Michael Peck, CSC-AD a drug and alcohol counselor for 20 years in the US with experience in Zambia and Chipo Pepe Nambeye who ran previously curriculum groups at for 2 years.

David White represented the Chestertown, MD Rotary Club and shared about the foundation and Rotary’s Disease Prevention area of focus. Rev. Aaron and Josephine Chilunjika from Chisomo Centers, the Zambian organization where initial studies of the curriculum took place, shared about previous their experience of the curriculum at their facility and the impact it had on the street children they help. They gave inspiring accounts of lives changed, children coming off drugs, going back to school and being reintegrated into families.

The training lasted 2 days, learning the 11 lessons offered in the curriculum. While many of the organizations attending were already reaching out to substance dependent populations in non-therapeutic ways – food, mentoring, bible studies, clothing, education, etc… – they lacked therapeutic tools which this training offered.  

The follow up over the past year has found that offering the “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” groups across Zambia produced statistically significant benefits. Clients significantly decreased substance use in marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes and inhalants (such as bostic and sticker). Not only that, this intervention has powerful implications in combating stigma as it was found to significantly increase both open sharing by clients in a group setting as well as their personal motivation to change.

Louis Mwewa of Zambian Association of Child Care Workers helps substance users in his community. He described running these curriculum groups as “a very uplifting process which was able stimulate the inner being shattered by the previous experience of life”.

Mildred Zimba engages with young addicts through a Zambian organization called Blessed to Bless. She felt groups provided her clients with “preparation for a future responsible true self by avoiding drugs or, if on drugs, realizing there is room for a better person tomorrow through the program”.

As the follow up continues, the message is loud and clear that there is a value in offering treatment for substance users in Zambia. This curriculum is at the forefront of filling this gap and working towards getting people off drugs, staying drug free, and shattering the stigma. With treatments like this becoming more accessible in Zambia, there is hope for recovery from drugs and alcohol.

For more information about the curriculum, check out For more information about how you can get involved in your community through Rotary, check out to find a club near you.


Lemba M. (2002). Rapid Assessment of Street Children in Lusaka. Lusaka: Project Concern International Zambia.

Lusaka Times. DEC constructing drug addicts rehabilitation centre. (2011, April 11). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from

Matheson, I. (1999, July 30). Children high on sewage. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from

Maninga, M. (2017, October 11). Zambia battles with alcohol abuse. Zambia Daily Mail. Retrieved from

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs. (2005). The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Retrieved January 17, 2011 from

We're glad you're enjoying The Chestertown Spy.

Sign up for the the free email blast to see what's new in the Spy. It's delivered right to your inbox at 3PM sharp.

Sign up here.