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Sag HarborFest 2009 Schedule

Posted on 10 September 2009

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Friday September 11

6:30 Old Fashioned Lobster Bake Whaling Museum  $75

8 East End Fire Dep. Benefit: The Guys Bay St. Thtr. $15

Saturday September 12

9 Farmers Market (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

9 Arts & Crafts Fair (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

9 WLNG Live Coverage Long Wharf

9:30 HarborFest Parade Main Street

10 Sidewalk Sale (til 4 p.m.) Business District

10 Boy Scout/Girl Scout Refreshments Long Wharf

10 Coast Guard Vessel Open for Inspection Long Wharf

10 Face Painting (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10 Classic Boat Display (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10 Whaling Museum Exhibit Whaling Museum

10 LI Lighthouse Society  (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10:30 Walking Tour: Maritime Sag Harbor Windmill

11 American Beauty Boat Tour Long Wharf

11 Children’s Fair (til 2 p.m.) Long Wharf

12 Whaleboat Race Eliminations Windmill Beach

12 African-American and Native-American

Food Tasting, Tour and Exhibit (til 3 p.m.) Heritage House. $5

1 JY 15 Sailboat Races Breakwater

1 Concert: Community Band Long Wharf

1 Coast Guard Display/Knot Tying Long Wharf 

1 American Beauty Boat Tour Long Wharf

2 Art Walk on Gallery Row (til 4 p.m.) Starts Long Wharf

3 Whaleboat Race Eliminations Windmill

3 Concert: Wiggle Boy (til 6 p.m.) Long Wharf

3 Film: Joyeuse Garde Bay Street Thtr

3 American Beauty Boat Tour Long Wharf

6 Reading: The Sea Around Us Canio’s Books

6 LVIS Cocktail Party Breakwater YC $50

7 Concert: Don Sineti Old Whalers Church

8 Concert: Project Vibe Bay Street Theatre $15

Sunday September 13

8 – 11 a.m. Worship Services

8 Fire Dept. Pancake Breakfast (til noon) Fire House       $12/$6

8:30 HarborFest 5K Redwood

9 Arts & Crafts Fair (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

9 WLNG Live Coverage Long Wharf

9:30 Pilates on the Beach Windmill

10 Sidewalk Sale (til 4 p.m.) Business District

10 Boy Scout/Girl Scout Refreshments Long Wharf

10 Coast Guard Vessel Open for Inspection Long Wharf

10 Face Painting (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10 Farmers Market (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10 LVIS Table (til 4 p.m.) Long Wharf

10 Classic Boat Display (to 1 p.m.) Long Wharf

10:30 Walking Tour: Women’s Lives Windmill

11 Reel Judaism Bay St. Thtr.

11:30 Kids Tug-o-War/Potato Sack Races Windmill Beach

11:30 Antique Appraisal Dockshow (to 1) SHYC

12 Whaleboat Races Semi-Finals Windmill Beach

12 Old Burying Ground Tour Old Burying Gd.

12:30 Concert: Sampawan’s Creek Windmill

1 Postcards From Sag Harbor Old Whalers Church

1 Exhibit: Oil! Whales, Wells…What Next?  Whaling Museum

1 Clam Chowder Contest Long Wharf

1 Classic Boat Parade Harbor

1 Coast Guard Display/Knot Tying Long Wharf 

1:30 Oakland Cemetery Tour Oakland Cem.

1:30 Annie Cooper Boyd House Exhibit Boyd House

2 Firefighters Cup Whaleboat Races Windmill Beach

2 Tour Temple Adas Israel Temple Adas

3 Whaleboat Races – Championship Windmill

3:30 Clam Shucking Contest Long Wharf

4 Awards Ceremony Long Wharf

4 Concert: The Glazzies and The Realm Marine Park

5 Food Pantry Fundraiser Whaling Museum $20

7 Playing Our Songs Bay Street Thtr. $50-150

Old Fashioned Clambake and Silent Auction

Lobsters, clams, corn and live music. And it’s a benefit for the largest repository of Sag Harbor artifacts. This traditional clambake will help raise needed funds to maintain the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum, a building that is in fact at the heart of Sag Harbor history, both emotionally and physically. There are plenty of napkins and plenty of cold beer, wine and soda to help you with your meal, which also includes clams, mussels, chicken and potatoes. And to make the evening even more exciting, there will be a silent auction, so you might be able to go home with something to remember your weekend. In past years it has included art as well historic memorabilia.

The Guys

Bay Street Theatre honors the memory of those who served on 9/11, especially the fire departments, with this staged reading of the Anne Nelson play which will

benefit East End fire departments.

Parayzed by grief and unable to put his thoughts into words, Nick, a fire captain, seeks out the help of a writer to compose eulogies for the colleagues and friends he lost in the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. As Joan, an editor by trade, draws Nick out, “the guys’” powerful profiles emerge revealing what ordinary people can do in extraordinary circumstances. 

First performed in a hit off-off Broadway production it is now a film starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia. 

Farmers Market

The South Fork has long built a reputation as one of the greatest providers of fresh produce and shellfish in the state, with farms stretching from the hilly moraine to the shores of the Atlantic. In recent years there has been a revived interest in hand-crafted, or slow, foods and this year the Sag Harbor Farmer’s Market brings you a collection of farmers and purveyors with some very special items — from the farm fields and local bays. Among the items for sale will be fresh organic vegetables, locally made cheeses, oysters, clams and scallops, mushrooms and fresh bread and pastries. The expanded market will be set up on Long Wharf and will feature cooking and food preparation demonstrations using the local produce.

Arts & Crafts Fair

The East End enjoys a reputation for having some of the most talented artisans and craftspeopele on Long Island. This weekend, many of them will set up their booths and tables on Long Wharf for visitors to examine and purchase. Among the items will be fine art paintings, water colors and photographs, pottery, needlework and jewelry.

Festival Parade

Starting off the festivities on Saturday morning will be the Gala Festival Parade, one that highlights the best of living in a small town with dozens of the village’s organizations represented. The parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. from the intersection of Palmer Terrace and Main Street and continues down Main Street to Bay Street, ending at the American Legion. Look for floats and banners from many local organizations, scout groups, bands and the Sag Harbor Fire Department’s finest in this decidedly local parade sponsored by the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce. This year’s grand marshal is former Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce president and longtime community volunteer Doris Gronlund.

Sidewalk Sale

This will be a first for this year’s HarborFest. The village’s shops and restaurants are invited to bring out their wares to the great outdoors. Clothing, books, collectibles, and even a burger or a slice of pizza to enjoy as you stroll along Main Street shopping in the open air.

Coast Guard Boat

Conditions permitting, the U.S. Coast Guard station in Montauk will bring a deep sea rescue boat to Long Wharf this weekend. For those who are understandably fascinated with how our Coast Guard conducts emergency rescues, service men and women will be available for a tour of the craft and to answer your questions.

Face Painting

Oh, c’mon, we know you’ve always wanted to walk up and down Main Street looking like a cat or a monkey. Well, at least your kids do. This year HarborFest brings a face painter down to Long Wharf to help bring out the inner animal. It’s a benefit for the Pierson Thespians, the local high school theatrical group.

Walking Tour: Maritime Sag Harbor

This tour explores Sag Harbor’s waterfront and the storied people and businesses that helped the community emerge as a dominant whaling port of the 19th century. From its earliest days as a port for trade, helping the farmers of the South Fork move their produce up and down the coast, when clipper ships plied the Atlantic, to its days when whaling voyages started out past Cedar Point for years at a time and the shoreline here was bustling with coopers and stores and sailmakers, to the recent commercial and industrial past when Mobil tankers would bring oil to the tank farm on Bay Street, to today, when million-dollar yachts sidle up to Long Wharf, the waterfront has defined the village.

American Beauty Tour

Sometimes you have to get off dry land to appreciate the place you came from. Capt. Don Heckman takes visitors aboard his tour ship, “American Beauty” for a cruise through local waters. Along the way Capt. Heckman will speak about the natural and historical evolution of Sag Harbor and its surrounding communities, from the time in the 1600s when merchants shipped their goods from Northwest landing to the time in the 1700s when Sag Harbor became a bustling port, to today when the harbor has evolved into one of the most popular destinations along the eastern seaboard.

Children’s Fair

The Harborfest 2009 Children’s Fair, held this year on Long Wharf, promises to be a fun filled day for families and kids of all ages with games, crafts and fun. Among the activities will be face-painting, spin-art, fabric painting, a puppet show, snacks and more. This year’s fair is a benefit for the Alex Koehne Foundation, an organization that raises funds to help study and raise awareness of brain cancer.

Classic Boat Displays

For enthusiasts of fine vessels, several classic boats — from skiffs to sailboats — will be on display along Long Wharf courtesy of the East End Classic Boat Society. The Society has also built a new community boathouse in Amagansett, and membership applications will be available this weekend, along with raffles to win a boat.

Annual Whalers Cup Whaleboat Races

The guys on those whaling ships had to do something for fun. We bet they raced their whaleboats when things were slow and right whales were hard to come by. (At least this is what John Steinbeck told members of the Old Whalers Festival back in 1962 when this whole thing got started. It was Steinbeck’s idea that the Old Whalers Festival — the precursor to today’s HarborFest, feature whaleboat races to add some excitement to the weekend). Our version pits teams of four against each other, including two rowers, a tiller-man and a harpoonist (no, they don’t actually harpoon anything).

In men’s and women’s divisions, the teams compete over two days, on a triangular course of about two hundred yards. It’s on the last frantic leg along the Long Wharf where the cheering from hundreds of spectators who traditionally line up on the wharf reaches a fever pitch, as fans of all teams try to help carry their boat home.

Elimination heats run on Saturday and finals run on Sunday. Expected to be back to defend their titles, and the right to have their names emblazoned on the coveted Whalers Cup — presented courtesy of the Sag Harbor Express  — will be Team Whalers in the Men’s Division and Bridgehampton Equipment Repair in the Women’s Division.

Also, on Sunday, we will host the second annual HarborFest Firefighter Cup races, featuring teams from local fire departments. Defending their title this year will be a team from Sag Harbor’s Gazelle Hose Company.

Historic Walking Tour of Eastville

The Eastville Community Historical Society will welcome guests along on a walking tour through the Eastville area including St. David’s church, at one time a stop on the fabled Underground Railroad, and its 19th century graveyard, the recently restored  Eastville Community Heritage House (a Sears Roebuck kit house from the 1920s), and several historic homes in the area.

African American and Native American Food Tasting and Exhibit

Sag Harbor is home to the oldest African-American and Native-American community on Long Island. On Saturday, the Eastville Community Historical Society will welcome guests to their headquarters, a recently restored 1920s mail-order house — the Eastville Community Heritage House —on Route 114 and Liberty Street, for a tasting of traditional African-American and Native-American foods. The house was built in the days when you could order just about anything from a catalog, including homes, which were sent out to remote communities by rail. This building also contains the history of the Sag Harbor whalers who lived in Eastville, the history of the developments East of Eastville, and houses the society’s collection of artifacts.

JY-15 Races

The Breakwater Yacht Club and Sailing Center hosts regular races with its fleet of JY-15 sailboats. These small, nimble and quick craft are exciting to watch as they sail in waters just inside the breakwater.

Community Band Concert

Many small villages in the last century enjoyed having community bands to play at special events. Keeping with that tradition, Sag Harbor once had a coronet band, and since 1957 has had The Community Band. Playing popular and unusual marches and other band music, The Community Band will play on the grassy median at Long Wharf on Saturday afternoon.

Coast Guard Inspections/Knot Tying

The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be offering free boat inspections over the weekend at the floating dock adjacent to Long Wharf. You can have a trained Auxiliarist discuss the required and recommended boating equipment for your vessel — lights, placards, numbering, visual distress signals, fire extinguishers, etc. Dock slips can accommodate vessels up to 32-feet.

Members of the Auxiliary will also be available to demonstrate tying the various knots mariners should know.

Art Walk on Gallery Row

Sag Harbor has long been a place that has embraced the arts and writers, actors, painters and sculptors have all found their way here. As a result the art scene in the village is a lively one. Join your fellow-art lovers on this stroll down Main Street and the side streets to take in works by local and nationally-recognized artists as many galleries open their doors for special exhibits.

Concert: Wiggle Boy

Formed by a couple of local high school teachers to bring popular music for the whole family, Dr. Robert Schumacher and Sean Kelly, who are frequently joined by other musicians play a mix of alternative music from bands like The Clash, Green Day, Cold Play, Counting Crows and others. They’ll be on the Long Wharf.

Film: Joyeusse Garde: Steinbeck in Sag Harbor

The celebrated Pulitzer- and Nobel-prize wining author John Steinbeck spent the last years of his life living part-time in Sag Harbor, and it was here where he wrote two of his best-known books: “The Winter of Our Discontent” and “Travels With Charley.” He was also know locally as one of the founders of the Old Whalers Festival, the precursor to today’s Sag HarborFest, and was instrumental in bringing the International Whaleboat Races to the village during the festival in the 1960s. This brief documentary by Tom Browngardt looks back on Steinbeck’s days here, and includes interviews with local residents who knew him well, and rare home movies of the author aboard his boat.

Classic Boat Regatta

The members of the Eastern Long Island Classic Boat Society spend hundreds of hours each year restoring and maintaining some of the most beautiful and elegant vessels on the water. You’ll get a chance to see them racing for the Sag Harbor Express Cup this Saturday, when they take off from the breakwater.

The Sea Around Us

Canio’s Books on Main Street hosts an evening of readings from Poems of the Sea, and Rachel Carson´s The Sea Around Us by various poets celebrating the sea as inspiration.

LVIS Cocktail Party

After a hectic day parading, racing whaleboats and taking in art, stop over to the Breakwater Yacht Club on Bay Street to enjoy sunset cocktails and hors d’ouvres on the club’s deck with the charming ladies who keep our downtown so beautiful. The Ladies Village Improvement Society devotes its time to making the village look inviting, including hanging the bountiful baskets of flowers from our antique lamp posts and planting around the Main Street flagpole, and other important and highly visible locations.

Concert: Shanteyman Don Sineti

Master shanteyman and storyteller Don Sineti, who frequently travels aboard the tall ship Mystic Whaler to entertain guests, will fill the Old Whalers Church on Saturday evening with songs of the sea and tales of the whale. It’s hard to beat for truly traditional whaling-period music and a look back on the lives of the men and women who filled whaling ports like Sag Harbor.

Concert: Project Vibe

Sounds from a different island, Project Vibe plays reggae for partying and dancing to wind out Saturday night.

Church Services and Tours

All of the village’s churches — all of which are historically significant — are open for regular services this weekend.

Pancake Breakfast

Everyone is invited back to the Main Firehouse on Sunday morning for a breakfast of flapjacks. A good way to start off a busy day is with a filling breakfast.

HarborFest 5K

The second annual Harborfest 5K in Sag Harbor will take place on Sunday, September 13 as part of the Harborfest celebration. The race, open to runners of all ages, will start at 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of West Water Street and Long Island Avenue, close to the Beacon Restaurant and Baron’s Cove Inn.

Jim Kinnier, coach of the Pierson girls’ varsity cross-country team, has organized the race program. Proceeds from the event will benefit the girls’ team, the defending Suffolk County Class D champions, having taken the title in both 2007 and 2008. The team travels to invitational meets in Florida and Rhode Island during the fall and the funds raised next Sunday will go towards travel expenses.

The 5K-course travels along the same route as the popular springtime Mind Over Matters 5K, going south on Main Street, turning onto Glover Street, then looping through Redwood and back out towards the registration area on Water Street. Registration ($20) begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 8:20 a.m. Registration forms and more information on the event are available online at

The top overall male and female finishers will be awarded trophies while the top three finishers in each age group will take home medals.

Pilates on the Beach

Want a little stretch and tone to get you in shape for the busy day ahead (think walking tours, whaleboat races, clam shucking)? Join us on the beach near the windmill on Sunday morning to catch the early morning sun and do a little Pilates.

Walking Tour: Women’s Lives

This tour will visit houses (mostly) of women who have been born or lived in Sag Harbor. Some famous, some not so, but all interesting. Among them are Sag Harbor’s great benefactress Mrs. Russell Sage, Lady Caroline Blackwood, Anna Elizabeth Westfall, who ran a finishing school for girls from her home on Howard St.; Mary Breck Sleight, the author of Flag on the Mill-Ship in the Bay; Martha Smith Brown, a whaling captain’s wife who sailed with her husband and wrote an extensive diary and author Betty Friedan.

Tug-O-War and Potato Sack Races

Before whaleboat racing action starts up again on Sunday, we invite all the kids in the crowd down onto the beach for a few good old fashioned contests. We’ll divide the kids up (boys vs. girls is pretty popular, or choose up teams) and get them involved in a challenging tug-o-war or a race to the finish in potato sacks.

Whalers Church

In the throes of raising funds for a multi-million dollar restoration project, this church — a National Historic Landmark — was built at the height of the whaling industry in the village in 1844. Designed in the Egyptian Revival style by architect Minard LaFevre, it once sported a tall ornate spire, that was blown down during the hurricane of 1938. Legend tells us that the spire was so high, whalers returning home would spot it as they rounded Montauk Point.

The church will be open for tours on Sunday after services.

The Antiques Appraisal Dock Show

Free antique and collectible appraisals at the annual Antique Appraisals Dockshow returns to Sag HarborFest 2009 for its ninth season with local dealers providing on-the-spot consultations and informal appraisals of antiques and collectibles at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club. As before, antique owners are asked to bring only two articles to be appraised.

Several antique dealers with shops in Sag Harbor will be on hand, rain or shine, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 13, in the blue-tented pavilion at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club at 27 Bay Street. 

Everyone is invited to bring the rare, the beautiful, the valuable and the merely curious artifacts and furnishings, two per person to the Dockshow to be examined by a panel of experienced and knowledgeable antique dealers who will tell the owners what can be discerned about their possessions and give an estimate of value.  While these dealers are not appraisers, they are active in the marketplace and, in most cases, can give owners sound advice on provenance and value.  

Also, stop in at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club, which hosts an open house during the weekend from 10 to 4.  For information, call Joan Carlson at 631-725-0165. 

Whaling Chanteys

With long hours spent aboard ships rocking in the waves, early whalers made up songs both for rest and for work. Sampawan’s Creek will favor our guests with a number of traditional songs as they sing near the windmill on Saturday.

Old Burying Ground Tour

Hosted by the Committee for the Old Burying Ground, this tour through the village’s oldest cemetery takes visitors past the graves and tells the stories of some of Sag Harbor’s earliest residents, including whaling captains and Revolutionary War heroes.

Postcards From Sag Harbor

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this collection of old postcards tells the story of Sag Harbor in wonderful images from the front of nickel postcards as far back at the 19th century. Joe Markowski, Sag Harbor’s village historian, has amassed a collection of hundreds of postcards that show Sag Harbor’s waterfront, Main Street, neighborhoods and residents evolving over a century-and-a-half.

A Taste of Sag Harbor Clam Chowder Contest

Who makes the best clam chowder in Sag Harbor? That’s what this contest seeks to answer and you get to help decide. All the local restaurants have been invited to participate so buy a mug for the opportunity to taste all the different chowders. After you’ve finished, cast your vote for your favorite. The winner gets bragging rights and a neat pewter mug. Both New England and Manhattan varieties are on the block; thick and creamy versus lush and tangy. Last year saw the Ross School take first in the New England division and Cromer’s Market take top honors in the Manhattan division.

Oakland Cemetery Tour

After Sag Harbor’s Old Burying Ground was filled to capacity, the community opened Oakland Cemetery in the early 19th century. While it is still very much in use today, it holds some old and interesting surprises. There are buried there Captain David Hand — the model for James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumpo — and his five (yes, five) wives; there is the stunning Broken Mast Monument, which honors many of the young local captains who died in the pursuit of whales; and the cemetery is also the final resting place of the famed dancer George Balanchine, who likened the cemetery to those in the French countryside.

Parade of Classic Boats

Under power or under sail, the wooden beauties are spectacular to behold. Those vessels that have been docked at the wharf this weekend will be under way on Sunday afternoon for their home ports. Visitors can get a good look at them from Long Wharf or Marine Park as they head out.

Temple Adas

Take an hour and learn about Long Island’s oldest synagogue.

Join the great-grandson of the light’s last keeper for a mile walk out to Cedar Point to learn a bit about the history of the lighthouse and its role in guiding ships into the harbor. All who are interested can meet in the Cedar Point Park by the playground at 2 p.m. 

Clam Shucking Contest

After the last oar from the whaleboat races has hit the water, the festival comes to a fevered conclusion with what has grown to be one of its most popular events: the contest to determine Shucker of the Year, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Last year almost twenty shuckers took bivalve in hand. Women dominated last year, with a tie for first between Monica Miller and Denise O’Malley.

Concert: The Glazzies and The Realm

Two popular groups featuring local young musicians will rock out on Sunday afternoon at Marine Park.

Food Pantry Fundraiser

The Sag Harbor Hysterical Society presents an early evening party with some rhythm and blues, dancing and beverages to benefit the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. With the economy struggling, organizations like the Food Pantry have never been in greater need.

Playing Our Songs

Bay Street Theatre winds out the weekend with a special performance by Marvin Hamlisch, Lucy Arnaz and Robert Klein, who were the original team in the Broadway hit, “They’re Playing Our Song.”

These three award-winning stars will come together for a special benefit, each performing their unique brand of song and comedy, followed by songs from the Tony nominated show “They’re Playing Our Song”.

Proceeds from this evening will benefit Bay Street Theatre and Fran Liebergall, part of the original production of “They’re Playing Our Song” who is living with multiple sclerosis.


Local Organizations 10-4 Long Wharf

Whaling Museum 10-5 (Sat) 1-5 (Sun) Main & Garden

Old Customs House 10-5 Main & Garden

Fire Dept. Museum 12-4 Church & Sage

USCG Safety Checks 10-4 Long Wharf

Sag Harbor Info Center 10-5 Windmill

Refreshments From Scouts 11-5 L. Wharf

WLNG Live Coverage 9-1 L. Wharf

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