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Downrigging Weekend Returns to Chestertown

Oct 30, 2014 04:00PM ● By Lisa Lewis
By Lisa A. Lewis

If you’re feeling down because the boat shows in Annapolis have come and gone, cheer up. There is an easy solution: a boat festival. Sound like fun? You bet it does. Spend some time in Chestertown, and celebrate Sultana Downrigging Weekend. This spectacular event, which takes place Friday through Sunday, is one of the largest annual tall ship and wooden boat festivals on the East Coast.

During this fun-filled weekend, see tall ships, schooners, skipjacks, sharpies, buy boats, sloops, skiffs, draketails, and other vessels. You can also sail on a fleet of assembled tall ships and historic watercraft.

In addition to activities on the waterfront, the festival also features performances by world-class musicians, lectures by nationally recognized authors and filmmakers, art exhibits, classes, model boat building for children, a 5K and half-marathon, commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Maryland’s Emancipation Day, the Chestertown Halloween Parade, fireworks over Chestertown’s historic harbor, and much more. In fact, there is so much to see and do that you probably won’t know what to do first. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to spend the weekend in one of America’s best preserved historic seaports.

Admission is free. However, some activities require a fee. For a complete schedule of events, visit the Sultana Education Foundation’s website at


*Q & A

Q: When did Sultana Downrigging Weekend begin?

A: Now in its fourteenth year, Sultana Downrigging Weekend was originally established to mark the end of the schooner Sultana’s sailing season. The event has grown throughout the years to become a celebration of maritime culture, wooden boats, and Chesapeake Bay heritage and attracts thousands of visitors to Chestertown each fall.


Do you want to have a spooky good time on Halloween? Of course you do. If you’re a movie buff, you should definitely make plans to see Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra - Spooky Silents: A Silent Film Halloween! on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis.

A unique film experience, “Spooky Silents” features the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra (PRSO) providing the musical underscores while three classic films play on screen: Buster Keaton’s The Haunted House, Harold Lloyd’s Haunted Spooks, and Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. An added bonus? Maryland Hall unveils its new orchestra pit for this special performance.

The PRSO is quickly becoming one of the leading ragtime ensembles in the United States. Formed by Andrew Greene at the University of Maryland in early 2010, the PRSO plays ragtime, theatre, and dance music using Greene’s collection of more than 2,000 original orchestral arrangements from the Ragtime Era.

Tickets for Section A are $21 for non-members and $16 for members. Section B tickets are $18 for non-members and $13 for members. A must-see event for film enthusiasts, this spooky event promises to be a lot of fun.


*The Silent Film Era “By the Numbers”

  • June 19, 1905: first Pittsburgh Nickelodeon showing of The Great Train Robbery.
  • $0.07: average cost of a ticket in 1910.
  • $175 per week: Mary Pickford’s salary in 1910.
  • $13,000: average feature film budget in 1913.
  • 1914: Charlie Chaplin’s debut as “The Tramp.”
  • 1916: Buster Keaton’s first film (The Butcher Boy).

Source: Welcome to Silent


*This Day in History

Feb 8, 1915: Birth of a Nation Opens

On February 8, 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, a landmark film in the history of cinema, premiered at Clune’s Auditorium in Los Angeles. The silent film was America’s first feature-length motion picture and a box office smash.



If you’re looking for a relaxing way to end the weekend, join the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (FASO) on Sunday from 6-9 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Annapolis for The Concert of Tastes. This event features tastings of the signature dishes of more than a dozen local restaurants, a full open bar, dancing to the big band sounds of the Chesapeake Greys, craft sales by local artisans, door prizes, and a Golden Chance raffle.

Tickets are $85 for the public and $75 for FASO members. For reservations, call 301-466-8710. Tickets are also sold at the door.


*Way to Go!

Celebrating 50 years! FASO was organized in 1964 to complement and help strengthen the programs of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) through education, fundraising, and social events.


Check out some other exciting events taking place this weekend, and don’t miss out on the special Halloween events:

Annapolis/Anne Arundel County:

Driven to Clarity Acoustic Trio – October 30, 8 p.m. at The Federal House Bar and Grille, Annapolis.
Walking Ghost Tours – October 31, 7 p.m. at The Maryland Inn, Annapolis.
Haunted Pub Crawl – October 31, 9 p.m. at The Maryland Inn, Annapolis.
O’Brien’s Gala Halloween Costume Party – October 31, 9 p.m. at O’Brien’s, Annapolis.
Militia Muster – November 1, 10 a.m. at Historic London Town and Gardens, Edgewater.

Eastern Shore:

Trick or Treat! – October 31, 5 p.m. at Queenstown Premium Outlets, Queenstown.
Halloween Bash – October 31, 9 p.m. at Brasserie Brightwell, Easton.
First Saturday Guided Walk – November 1, 10 a.m. at Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely.
The Printer’s Mark – November 1, 1 p.m. at Kent Island Federation of Art, Stevensville.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior – November 2, 10 a.m. at Academy Art Museum, Easton.


Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks – November 1, 7 p.m. at Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Rocky Horror Show – November 1, 8 p.m. at Spotlighters Theatre, Baltimore.
Grounded – November 1, 8 p.m. at Everyman Theatre, Baltimore.

To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our online calendar. And be sure to follow What’s Up? on Twitter and like us on Facebook.