Chestertown Downrigging Weekend 2015

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The Downrigging Fleet at Dawn, photo by Chris Cerino
The Downrigging Fleet at Dawn, photo by Chris Cerino


The Sultana Education Foundation will hold its annual Downrigging Weekend Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Festival, October 29 – November 1, in Chestertown, Maryland.

One of the largest annual Tall Ship gatherings in North America, Downrigging Weekend includes tall ship sailing, deck tours, concerts, lectures, films, and exhibits.

Downrigging Weekend offers visitors the opportunity sail as part of a fleet of Tall Ships. Participating ships include the KALMAR NYCKEL and A.J. MEERWALD, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, LADY MARYLAND, SULTANA, as well as the oyster dredging skipjacks ELSWORTH and SIGSBEE.

The fleet of tall ships will be joined by a flotilla of privately owned wooden vessels also in port for the Festival. The Downrigging Fleet is expected to carry more than 1,200 people sailing on the Chester River during four scheduled public sails.

Downrigging Weekend activites in Chestertown include lectures by New York Times reporter Ian Urbina, Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post Book Critic Michael Dirda, authors John Nagy and Kate Livie, and an exhibit of classic cars and speedboats by the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

Music will include performances by Parsonsfield, Chester River Runoff, Phil Dutton and the Alligators, the High and Wides, the Pam Ortiz Band, the Mike Buccino Trio, the Banjo Man Bill and Tom Anthony, and the Guthrie Matthews Method.

Other events include tastings of regional wines and seafood; a waterside 5K and half marathon, an observance of Maryland’s Emancipation Day; a new exhibit by maritime artist Marc Castelli, the annual Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour, night-time illumination of the Tall Ships, and fireworks display over Chestertown harbor.

For more information, visit or call 410-778-5954.

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