RiverFest in Chestertown, MD :: Celebrating Art & History

Leave it to the inventive folks of Chestertown, MD to create an event that celebrates the arts, the environment, and local history all at the same time.  RiverFest 2015 is a brand new festival that takes place in Wilmer Park, beautifully situated along the banks of our magnificent Chester River.

Tons of activities are packed into this one afternoon, Saturday, September 26, and there is certainly something for everyone.  Chestertown is well known for its many artists and artisans; the river and the bay are at the forefront of almost every endeavor made in this town; and of course the historical richness is obvious.  Bringing all these elements together is a natural for its sponsors Chestertown RiverArts, Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society, and SANDBOX (a program at WAC that merges the disciplines of art and science).

Plein Air artists will be scattered around the event, recording it in paint as it happens.  There will of course be water activities like kayak and canoe racing as well as the beloved Carboard Raft Regatta.  Yes, rafts made out of cardboard that actually go into the river.  Whether they come out in one piece is part of the excitement!  For the tourists, there are walking tours of historic downtown Chestertown.

Food and drink aplenty, public sails on the Sultana and other tall ships, as well as a supper cruise on the River Packet are all part of the festivities.

Perhaps what we’re most excited about though, at the end of the festival, is the lighting of a beautiful, solar powered, floating sculpture in the river that will light up as the sun goes down and the full moon comes up.  That promises to be a beautiful sight, but what is just as delightful is the idea of this giant wooden sculpture literally floating on the river!  It will be moored in place near the end of High Street a few days before the festival, and then left in place for a while after, when it will then be assessed and hopefully set up in a permanent location.  Designed by Jacqui and Vicco Von Voss, you can follow its progress here.

Permanent art installations such as this one are hopefully to become more commonplace here in the near future.  With its state designation as an Arts and Entertainment District, Chestertown is poised to become an even more attractive destination for those seeking culture, natural beauty and really fun things to do!  More on that to come…

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