September 26, 2015
Wilmer Park, Chestertown
Chestertown RiverArts and Washington College Center for Environment & Society and SANDBOX are launching RiverFest, a new, annual event on Saturday, September 26 that will include an afternoon festival at Wilmer Park, water activities and the lighting of a large, floating, solar-powered sculpture at sunset.
Beginning at noon, Wilmer Park on the Chestertown waterfront will be filled with music, activities for families including RiverArts’ KidSPOT, and Phillips Wharf Fish Mobile; a Sun, Sail and Paddle Expo displaying kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sailboards and day sailors as well as accessories by manufacturers and local distributors; art and environmental displays; and good food and drink.
Washington College’s 9thAnnual Cardboard Boat Regatta will take to the water at 3PM. The popular and always exciting competition is open to students and all members of the community. Participants create homemade cardboard crafts ranging from nautical to whimsical and from seaworthy to waterlogged to compete. The regatta takes place along the waterfront by Wilmer Park.
Kayak and canoe races and a Poker Run are planned for the afternoon and will start and finish in front of Wilmer Park. The mile-long racecourse extends south to a broad turn at the mouth of Radcliffe Creek before returning to the park. The race will begin with a heat for kayaks 12 ft. long and over. The second heat will feature kayaks less that 12 ft. long, and a third heat for twosomes in tandem kayaks and canoes. Prizes will be awarded for age brackets to be determined. Registration includes access to both the races and the poker run, as well as easy loading and unloading at the Washington College Boat House. RiverFest Paddle Races are sponsored by Chesapeake Bank.
The RiverFest floating sculpture is designed by Vicco and Jacquie von Voss with the logistical and engineering support from Zane Carter and Ed Minch. The solar powered sculpture will light up as the sun goes down and the full moon rises over the eastern shore of the Chester River. It will be a stunning spectacle to behold.
Vicco von Voss is a master wood worker and furniture maker, best known for his use of natural materials. His signature “Vicco Chair” was awarded Best In Show at RiverArts’ recent “Woodworkers’ Showcase” exhibition. His work has been displayed at art galleries including Kohl Gallery at Washington College; The Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown; Academy Art Museum, Easton; Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington, D.C.; and in Hamburg, Germany. No stranger to art on a grand scale, his home was featured as a work of art in the Thanksgiving 2014 issue of the New York Times.
Painters competing in the RiverFest Plein Air competition will be visible throughout RiverFest capturing images of the event. For out-of-town visitors, there will be walking tours of downtown Chestertown to learn about our rich history. The Sultana has two public sails scheduled during the day and the Center for the Environment and Society will also be taking folks on their research vessel, the Callinectes. Echo Hill Outdoor School will be hosting students and staff from Pennsylvania State University on it’s classic skipjack, The Elsworth and it’s historic Annie D.
RiverArts is currently looking for sponsors of the event as well as paddle and solar exhibitors for the Sun, Sail & Paddle Expo. Interested parties should contact Jodi Bortz at 410-778-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
RiverFest promises to be a fun filled day for everyone. It will be a great showcase of Chestertown, the waterfront and our community. For more information about RiverFest, visit www.chestertownriverarts.org