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Chester hosts crowd celebrating the 1920s

Among the many partyers delving into the Roaring Twenties spirit at Saturday's edition of Speak Easy Nights held in Panther Mountain Pub during Chestertown’s smash Rum-Runners Weekend, were (front, left to right): Janine Best, Wesley Butler Jr. of Brant Lake and Denice Morrisseau of Chester — as they watched the Charleston dance contest.

Among the many partyers delving into the Roaring Twenties spirit at Saturday's edition of Speak Easy Nights held in Panther Mountain Pub during Chestertown’s smash Rum-Runners Weekend, were (front, left to right): Janine Best, Wesley Butler Jr. of Brant Lake and Denice Morrisseau of Chester — as they watched the Charleston dance contest.

— Visitors to Chestertown this weekend — who encountered men in fedoras, women in flapper dresses, and vintage sedans — may have wondered if they’d been hijacked in a time machine.

This sedate rural town hosted hundreds of revelers Friday Sept. 13 through Sunday Sept. 14 for the festive events of Rum-Runners’ Weekend, which celebrated the exuberance and frivolity of the Roaring Twenties.

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Photo by Kim Ladd/Lifescapes Photography

Among the many partyers delving into the Roaring Twenties spirit at Speak Easy Night held Saturday at Panther Mountain Pub during Chestertown’s smash Rum-Runners Weekend, were (front, left to right): Janie Best, Wesley Butler Jr. of Brant Lake and Denice Morrissey of Chester — as they watched the Charleston dance contest. Bob Montgomery is shown in the background.

Restaurants and other venues were jam-packed for the weekend, the first of its kind over a half-century or so for Chestertown.

“The whole weekend was an unbelievable success —This town was rocking all weekend,” local resident Cindy Mead said a day after the events wound down. Mead, along with other members of the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance, planned the weekend.

Bootlegger chase, vintage sports games

On Saturday morning, 23 antique cars and hundreds of spectators participated in a mock police pursuit of a rum-runner’s vintage sedan over Landon Hill Road. In this re-enactment, a Model A Ford filled with bootleg whiskey barrels was chased by a vintage police car. The procession included state Troopers as escorts.

The rum-runner chase was followed by a Babe Ruth Battle of the Bats home run derby, in which 123 children and adults participated, while old-time baseball music echoed across the town recreation field. Poul Carstensen and Mark Sissons pitched balls to the contestants, and local girl scouts held a bake sale at the field.

Vaudeville/burlesque show ‘busted’

A vaudeville/burlesque show held Saturday afternoon at the Carol Theatre in Chestertown was a sellout. A variety of acts were featured, whether it was entertainers in 1920s garb singing vintage songs, dancing, or cracking jokes to the delight of the standing-room-only crowd of 275 people or more. The show, organized by Al Tolomeo, included jazz music of his ensemble as well as 25-cent bags of popcorn provided by local Boy Scouts.

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