Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chestertown Tea Party Parade and Festival

I am really behind in posting this!

My oldest son started taking fife lessons about 7 months ago.  He is taking them through a member of a fife and drum corps.  Twice a month, we head up to Baltimore so that he can meet his teacher during the corps' practices.  He loves taking the lessons and loves hearing the corps practice. It really helps him to practice more between lessons. It keeps him focused on what he is working toward.  And that is someday playing with the corps.

Until then, they have invited him to be a part of their color guard.  Basically, it means he can march with them in parades.  His first parade with them was at the Chestertown Tea Party Festival.

So proud!

We got to Chestertown about an hour before the parade was to start and we made our way to the parade line up.  We quickly found the corps.  J got his tricorn hat.  I have to tell you, this boy rarely gives me a genuine smile in a picture, but I took a picture of him when he first put on the hat and he was beaming!! He was so proud.  About 15 minutes before the start of the parade, I left with my other two boys to find a spot along the parade route.  My hubby stayed with J and walked the route on the sidewalk "along side" the corps.

My two younger boys and I waited anxiously for the parade to start.  First came the military color guard, followed by the town crier, heralding the start of the parade and festival.  J's corps was one of the first groups in the parade.  I have never heard them perform outside of their practices and they sounded great!! J was so focused on his duty to carry the flag . . . he gets such a serious face and will not smile even for a picture!!!

After the parade, I met up with J and my husband and we walked around the festival and grabbed some lunch.  The Tea Party festival is basically a large street fair that began around a "re-enactment" of the Boston Tea Party.  Well, that is not totally accurate.  They act out a Tea Party that is celebrated in Chestertown to show the town's solidarity with their compatriots in Boston.  The boys could not wait to see this!  The re-enactment began in the middle of town and the crowds followed the colonials to the shore.  There was shooting along the way. A Loyalist regiment was attempting to stop the patriots from getting to the docks.  They were unsuccessful.  We slipped our way through the crowd to get a good view of the activity on the boat.  The patriots rowed out and threw tea, along with some British, overboard.
Fighting in the street

Rowing out for the Tea Party

Jam session
Once the reenactment was over, we headed to a corps member's home for a party. The party consisted of the fife a drum corps members, their family members, and the families of other re-enactors and fifers and drummers that were in Chestertown for the festival.  We had a great time! There was a fife and drum "jam session" after dinner. J became an official member of the Corps (he has been waiting for this day for months!!).  The day ended with traditional colonial dancing. I danced with J and I have to tell you, he was much better at following the directions of the caller than I was!!
Becoming an official corps member

J with his member certificate and two of the corps fifers!


  1. What a blessing you have to be located in DC, so close to American history in term of teaching and learning!

  2. This is really cool. You guys are inspiration to get more involved with American History. Even though we live here in the middle of it, I really don't too much with the young kids. when they get a little older, we will branch out and do more field trips too.
    Looks like you guys had a wonderful time! Worth the drive and effort!

  3. Congratulations to him! What a wonderful opportunity/honor!