The Chestertown Tea Party Committee held an e-wake to memorialize the Chestertown Tea Party Festival 2020 that will never happen. It’s been several years since I have had so much free time in the weeks leading up to this holiday weekend. All our schedules have been turned upside down.
In my youth, my involvement in the Tea Party was limited to rounding up and organizing the Customs Commissioners, and, fully clothed in the garb of our antagonists, got tossed off the boat. That involvement ended during law school when I landed on a floating faux tea crate. As I made my way to shore in unseasonably cold water, I considered immediate retirement, though just having passed my 25th year mark with great expectations– at least in my mind.
The party continued on without me. We no longer toss customs commissioners into the river. We have added the impact of the schooner Sultana. More recently, I volunteered for the Tea Party Committee and have graduated to become its treasurer.
Outgoing President Sabine Harvey has always delivered on her festival plan. This should have been her swan song. We will not be able to give her the proper public recognition and thanks that she deserves. We will not fete this year’s grand marshal, Linda Kuiper, a Tea Party Committee veteran and former town councilwoman. We will not learn the identity of the Edna Ross Award winner, an honor bestowed on contributors to our community.
We will have to wait in anticipation until next May.
I look forward to 2021. My hope is that we can hold large events by then and the Tea Party Festival will start the festival season. It is appropriate. Hopefully, we will be celebrating our freedom from COVID-19. We will be tossing off the crippling grip of a silent oppressor.
We will also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Sultana. Who was there that does not remember the transport of the vessel to the foot of High Street as a top-ten memory? What a way to start the 21st century!
Spring 2021 is ripe with possibilities.
Until then, stay safe and keep current with the Kent Pilot.