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Center for

Environment & Society

Chestertown Riverfest (Waterfront Festival)

An annual part of the Fall Family Weekend, the Waterfront Festival celebrates Chestertown, Washington College, and (of course) the Chester River! This year the Center for Environment & Society has teamed up with Chestertown RiverArts and Washington College’s SANDBOX Initiative to create a much larger and new annual event, The Chestertown RiverFest.

Announcing the 1st annual Chestertown Riverfest: September 26, 2015!

This afternoon festival at Wilmer Park will include a large number of water activities, including the 9th annual cardboard boat regatta, open to students and all members of the community, as well as a Poker Run and Kayak and Canoe Races. The festival will end with a Parade of Lights that will process to the area where the illumination of a floating solar sculpture is staged. The sculpture was designed by artist Vicco von Voss and is sponsored by SANDBOX.   

The festival will begin at noon with a rowing demonstration by the Chestertown Rowing Club, followed by RiverArt’s kayak and canoe races. Included in your registration fee for the races is the RiverArts Poker Run. In the poker run participants can take to the water any time between 12 and 4. Participants will paddle to 5 buoys to collect sealed envelops and return to shore to see who drew the winning hand and wins the cash prize. For more information and to register for one of the three RiverArts Paddle Races, please click here.

The 9th annual cardboard boat race has up to $650 worth of prizes and is always entertaining to be a part of and watch from the sidelines. Participants create homemade cardboard crafts ranging from nautical to whimsical and from seaworthy to waterlogged to compete. For questions please e-mail Jamie Frees (jfrees2@washcoll.edu) Please register and pay your $10 registration fee on RiverArts’ website, here.

For more information on the event please see RiverArts’ RiverFest page here.


2015 Schedule of Events:

Sun, Sail & Paddle Expo:

12:00-5:30 Expo Events Open to the Public

Environmental Displays

Artist Vendors

Family Activities – Phillips Wharf Fish Mobile, Pony Rides, & KidSPOT

Food & Beverages – Ice Cream, BBQ, Festival Favorites

Kayak and Canoe Vendors and Displays

& More!

Races and River Activities

11:00       Paddle Race drop off and registration open (located at Washington College                     Boathouse).

12:00       Rowing Club Demonstration

12-4         Poker Run participants may take to the water

1:00         Kayak/Canoe Races begin 

Callinectes tours available ($5 per person): Sign up at the event limited to the first 25 people per cruise

2:40-3:20* (Note: During the Cardboard Boat Race)

2:40         Cardboard Boat Captains’ Meeting (located at CES tent)

2:50         Cardboard Boat Parade 

3:00         9th Annual Cardboard Boat Race sponsored by the Center for Environment                     and Society

3:30         Judging and awards ceremony

4:30         Poker Run participants reveal their hands to find the winner!

5:00         RiverFest Paddle Races Awards Ceremony

6:00        All paddlers must be off the water. RiverFest sanctioned kayak, canoe and boating activities closed.


RiverFest Sculpture Festivities 5:30-8 pm

5:30         Parade of Lights and Show – From Wilmer Park to High Street Landing

6:00         High Street Reception Begins

                      Wine Bar                   

                      Food by JR’s

                      View “Future of the Waterfront” Display

                      Phil Dutton & the Alligators   

6:00        RiverFest Packet Cruise – Tickets required 

7:15         Sculpture Lighting Ceremony

7:30         Sculpture Lighting 

8:00         River Packet Returns