A little cold rain didn’t deter more than a thousand people from popping open their umbrellas and pulling up their hoods to help Sag Harbor celebrate the winter in the inaugural HarborFrost on Saturday. Visitors to Main Street were treated to the art of ice sculptors Fear No Ice who carved a throne on Long Wharf resembling the fluke of a whale descending into the water.
At the other end of town, in front of the offices of Corcoran Realty, they created an Eskimo family just right for local families to have their pictures taken with.
About 500 people stood along the shore at the windmill and lined Long Long Wharf to watch several dozen people toss themselves into Sag Harbor’s chilly waters in the first Frosty Plunge. The event helped raise money for the Sag Harbor Ambulance Corps. Among the participants was NBC newsman Matt Lauer, and village trustee Robby Stein. Former Village Trustee Tiffany Scarlato also made good on her pledge to take a dunk, and arrived at the beach in her mink, a bright red one piece bathing suit and — remarkably — a deep tan. Scarlato, who is now an attorney in private practice, reportedly raised $750 through her office to benefit the ambulance corps. To make the chilly swim more palatable, Phao restaurant provided hot soup to anyone who took the plunge, and the Sag Harbor Gym opened its doors to allow them hot showers. Fran Nill was on hand to provide hot chocolate.
Local restaurants were crowded with revelers and diners, many taking advantage of special menus for the day. Their crowds were augmented by the participants of the Culinary Stroll — easily identifiable by the creatively designed chefs hats each stroller wore — which wound its way through five of the village’s dining spots. The stroll, sponsored by the Sag Harbor Hysterical Society, raised money for a local woman who is struggling to pay medical bills.
In addition to special deals in restaurants and local shops, BookHampton hosted a Quiz Bowl trivia contest and Bay Street Theatre hosted a jazz jam.
Rounding out the evening, the crowd was treated to The Fiery Sensations, a dance troupe who performed on Long Wharf with blazing batons. The crowd then pressed further down Long Wharf to watch fireworks explode over the water. The HarborFrost was largely organized by the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, and funded in part from donations from local businesses. The Chamber has already begun planning for next year’s event.