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Discovering the Eastern Shore: Chestertown Tea Party 5K

 

Every Memorial Day weekend, the small town of Chestertown unites for what might be one of the most amazing small town festivals I have ever been lucky enough to attend: the Chestertown Tea Party Festival.

tall ship
Tea Party Reenactment

The festival’s website describes the festival perfectly:

Now in its 39th consecutive year, the Tea Party Festival in Chestertown, MD offers an engaging glimpse into its colonial past in addition to entertainment, children’s activities, crafts, wine and beer tastings, and more. Follow the re-enactment of Colonists and Tories as they march to the Chester River and board Chestertown’s 18th century tall ship, Sultana, to dispatch its cargo of tea overboard. Afterwards, you can take a public sail on the Sultana itself. Walking tours of the historic district, demonstrations of colonial crafts, revolutionary theater by local playwrights and the popular “Tory Toss” into the river all make for a fun and educational weekend.

Chestertown 2016
Baby G temporarily forgot that he likes 5Ks

The Chestertown Tea Party has something for everyone:

Families: Kids will be entertained non-stop!  Check out the schedule – plenty of games, children’s arts & crafts, story time with Miss Jackie (and if you are from Dover, you know how amazing Miss Jackie is), etc. Bonus – I personally love the Department of Natural Resources booth because of the super cute baby birds, owls, pigeons, and hawks they have on display.

Shoppers: Tons of vendors – GOOD Vendors.  Lots of unique and interesting things to browse and buy.  Bonus – Check out Chester River Wine & Cheese Company and grab some delicious cheese, olives, and Italian meats.

Foodies : Who doesn’t love some delicious fair food?!  Chestertown does it up right – deep fried oreos are OUT – strawberry shortcake and crab cakes are IN!  Bonus – do not leave Chestertown until you stop at Evergrain Bread Company.  I strongly recommend the Sun Buns, Chocolate Croissants, and my new “this is super bad for me” addiction – bacon and cheese scone.  The scone is breakfast in your MOUTH delicious.

Grown-up Time (no kids): Bloody Mary’s are free flowing.  Almost every store has some sort of fantastic adult beverage just waiting for you- all to really help you get in the spirit for the tea party reenactment at 2 pm.

Now – I hope at this point I have laid enough groundwork to entice you to come to the festival Memorial Day weekend 2017. But if I haven’t, there is one more amazing thing about this festival…. the Chestertown Distance Classic-Run for Radcliffe 5K and half marathon.

My original plan was to run the half; however, after seeing the weather forecast of high 80s and sunny – common sense prevailed and the 5K option sounded great. The course is an easy out and back – that starts and ends at Wilmer Park.  The first half mile (and last half mile) of the course is along the Chester River. The best part of the race though is at the end – Fordham beer truck and Rita’s Italian Ice.  Unlike other races where you are lucky to get one, maybe two, beers – this race has unlimited pours (this is usually the selling point for Jimmy).

Course map
5K Course – Simple out and back
My original plan was to run the half; however, after seeing the weather forecast of high 80s and sunny – common sense prevailed and the 5K option sounded great. The course is an easy out and back – that starts and ends at Wilmer Park.  The first half mile (and last half mile) of the course is along the Chester River. The best part of the race though is at the end – Fordham beer truck and Rita’s Italian Ice.  Unlike other races where you are lucky to get one, maybe two, beers – this race has unlimited pours (this is usually the selling point for Jimmy).

I am not sure of my official finishing time – somewhere around 27 minutes. Not too shabby for pushing the stroller in humid, hot temps.

So next Memorial Day Weekend, skip the crowds at the beach and head to Chestertown for a little bit of fun, fitness, and history at its best.  And if you happen to have a colonial costume – wear it!

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