Each year on the third Saturday in May the Kent Island Heritage Society celebrates the heritage, life, and culture of Kent Island. This year Kent Island Day will be on Saturday, May 16, 2009 in the Historic Stevensville area. The Kent Island Day tradition began 32 years ago, with the signing of a proclamation by Acting Maryland Governor, Blair Lee, in May 1977.
The community festival takes place in one of Kent Island’s oldest and most picturesque communities, the “Mayberry-like” small town of Stevensville. It will feature the Heritage Society’s historic sites, period docents and re-enactors, historic gun demonstrations, local artists, crafters, and vendors, an old fashioned parade, good food, and lots of great entertainment. The Bay Times’ own, Jack Shaum, will be the parade announcer in his handsome Colonial Gentleman period outfit.
The Opening Ceremony will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with the National Anthem, salute to the Flag, and the reading of the Kent Island Day Proclamation by Del. Richard Sossi. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Kent Island Elementary School and will flow down Main Street into downtown Stevensville. “The parade will feature home-town mix of old cars, boats, historic costumes, civic groups, elected officials, scouts, Red Hat Ladies, Police and Fire units, and the exciting horses of the Maryland Rough Riders”, said Jack Broderick, Heritage Society President and KI Day Parade Chair. “We still have an opening for a marching band”, said Broderick, “The school bands are involved in a state competition that day. So if you know of a band that wants to march, here’s the chance.”
“One new feature at this year’s event”, said Joyce Woodford, KI Day vendor coordinator, “is the Writers’ Corner, highlighting the work of at least five local authors who will be on hand to sign and sell their books”. They include: Nick Hoxter of Grasonville, Alex Johnson of Chester, Hal Wilson of Chester, Don Parks of St. Michaels, and Brent Lewis of Centreville. Lewis’ new book on the History of Kent Island is hot off the press and is being released for the first time on Kent Island Day.
Entertainment will begin at noon in the Stevensville Pocket Park and will continue throughout the day. The entertainment will include the Daschiell School of Dance; the Kent Island Community Band; the women’s acappella group “Harmony on the Bay”; the Turner sisters’ singing group, “Beyond the Veil”; and the old favorite “The Bay Country Gentlemen”.
“We are looking forward to it”, said Woodford, as she summed up a recent planning meeting. ”It’s a great family day of food, fun, and friendship – celebrating Kent Island.”
For questions or information on Kent Island Day, call Jack 410-643-6452 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.