Schooner Sultana’s 7th Annual Downrigging Weekend

“The harbor and wharfs of Chestertown will be filled to capacity on the weekend of October 30–November 2 as ships from across the mid-Atlantic make their way up the Chester River to participate in the schooner Sultana’s eighth annual Downrigging Weekend. Established in 2001, Downrigging Weekend marks the close of the schooner Sultana’s sailing season and the beginning of “”downrigging”” for many of the region’s tall ships and traditional sailing vessels. The weekend will afford the public opportunities to view, board, and sail on the assembled fleet and to join in celebrating the maritime heritage of the region. A fleet of “”tall ships”” and historic vessels are scheduled to participate in Downrigging Weekend 2008, including the Kalmar Nyckel, Pride of Baltimore, II, Schooner Virginia, AJ Meerwald, Lady Maryland, and more.

Thursday, Oct. 30:
All Day: The ships arrive.
7:30 p.m.
Master and Commander Film, a special showing of perhaps the finest sailing movie of all time with Dr. Charles Fithian, the film’s principal historic consultant. At Prince Theatre, Chestertown.

Friday, Oct. 31:
10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Education Sails (closed event). More than 200 school children from across the region sail the Chester River onboard the Downrigging Weekend fleet.
3–5 p.m.
Ships open to the public for viewing. Free admission.
4–7 p.m.
Steam Calliope Concert at Wilmer Park.
6–8 p.m.
Trick-or-Treat on the state ship of New Jersey, the AJ Meerwald, at the foot of High Street. Children must be in costume!
Dusk¬–9 p.m.
Tall ships illuminated.
7 p.m.
Waterfront Fireworks Display launched from Wilmer Park, with viewing across the Chestertown waterfront.

Saturday, Nov. 1:
10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Ships open to the public for sailing excursions. Fees vary depending on ship.
2–4:30 p.m.
Ships open to the public for sailing excursions. Fees vary depending on ship.
6–7 p.m.
Dinner at the Sultana Shipyard, offers the opportunity to join the captains and crews of the Downrigging Weekend fleet for a casual dinner at the Sultana Shipyard. Tickets are $25 per person.
8 p.m.
Concert for Sultana featuring the Two Man Gentleman Band at the Prince Theatre, Chestertown. $10 per person.

Sunday, Nov. 2:
11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Ships open to the public for sailing excursions. Fees vary depending on ship.
2–5:30 p.m.
The Amistad is a full-scale recreation of La Amistad, a Spanish vessel that became the site, in 1839, of a successful slave revolt that effectively reversed the Middle Passage. It is open to the public for viewing, free of charge, on the Cannon Street Pier.”

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