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Annual HarborFest Schedule is Set

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The annual celebration of Sag Harbor’s maritime history returns this weekend, September 9-11. In addition to old favorites like whaleboat racing and the clam chowder tasting, new events include an underwater archaeological exploration off Long Wharf, a bucket brigade the whole family can participate in and a lobster roll eating contest.

Here’s a schedule so you can plan your weekend:

FRI


6:30 pm Old Fashioned Clambake and Silent Auction

Whaling Museum

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. Inda Eaton performs. 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. $85.


8 pm Film: Wuthering Heights

Bay Street Theatre

The story of unfortunate lovers Heathcliff and Cathy who, despite a deep affection for one another, are forced by circumstance and prejudice to live their lives apart. Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon and David Niven. $5.


SAT


9 am Farmers Market

Long Wharf

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, mushrooms and fresh bread and pastries. To 4 pm.


9 am Arts & Crafts Fair

Long Wharf

The East End enjoys a reputation for having some of the most talented artisans and craftspeople 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. To 4 pm.


9:30 am Festival Parade

Main Street

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 from the intersection of Palmer Terrace and Main Street and continues down Main Street to Bay Street, ending at the American Legion. Leading the parade will be Grand Marshal Jack Tagliassacchi. 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.


10 am Sidewalk Sale

Main Street

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. To 4 pm.


10 am Refreshments al Fresco

Long Wharf

Throughout the day there will be a variety of food options, including a taste of the best from local restaurants, caterers and wineries, hot dogs and sodas from the scouts and snacks to satisfy your hunger as you stroll through the craft fair and watch the annual whaleboat races. To 4 pm.


10 am Coast Guard Boat

Long Wharf

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.


10 am Walk Talk and Sketch

Custom House

Kids get to learn a little history and about the unique architecture of Sag Harbor in this hands-on creative activity. $10.


10 am Face Painting and Karaoke

Long Wharf

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. To 4 pm.


10 am Classic Boat Display

Long Wharf

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. To 4 pm.


10 am Children’s Story Time

John Jermain Memorial Library

Stories and songs of the sea.


10 am On the Spot Reference

Long Wharf

Staff from the John Jermain Memorial Library will give you tips and help you reference a variety of subjects including Sag Harbor history and homes. To 4 pm


10 am Cappy Amundsen Exhibit

Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

Sag Harbor’s celebrated maritime painter and a full range of his work. To 5 pm.


10 Dive Demonstrations

Long Wharf

Presented by the Long Island Divers Association in conjunction with the Sag Harbor Fire Dept. Dive Team. Hosted by the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. Dive operations will begin with a selected team of divers conducting an underwater dig at the Long Wharf. The Sag Harbor area has been an active port since the beginning of whaling operations in the early 1700s, and diving is not normally permitted at this site. If you are interested in joining the dive team, contact Bill Pfeiffer bill@island-diving.us for more information. Everyone is welcome to come out and join the festivities, including a LIDA sponsored BBQ at the Whaling Museum on Saturday. Check out the Long Island Divers Association’s Facebook page for up to the minute details. To 2 pm


10 am Children’s Amusements

Long Wharf

Games and activities for the kids. To 4 pm.


10 am Coast Guard Inspections/Knot Tying

Long Wharf

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. To 3 pm.


10:30 am Walking Tour: Maritime Sag Harbor

Meet at Windmill

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.


11 am American Beauty Tour

Long Wharf

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.


11 am Corn Shucking Contest

Long Wharf

The kids are invited down to Long Wharf to see who can peel an ear of corn the fastest. Register at the Windmill.


11 am Concert: John Corr

Long Wharf

A master of traditional seafaring music who welcomes a good old sing-along. To 4 pm.


11:30 am Old Burying Ground Tour

Old Burying Ground

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.


12 Annual Whalers Cup Whaleboat Races

Windmill Beach

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. Our version pits teams of four against each other, including two rowers, a tiller-man and a harpoonist.

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 John K. Ott in the Men’s Division and The Corner Bar in the Women’s Division.


12 Historic Walking Tour of Eastville and Food Tasting

Eastville Community Heritage House

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. There will also be a tasting of traditional African-American and Native-American foods. To 3 pm. $5.


12 Film: Joyeusse Garde: Steinbeck in Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theatre

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. Continuously to 4 pm.


1 pm Concert: Community Band Concert

Long Wharf

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.


1 pm American Beauty Tour

Long Wharf


1 pm Children’s Story Time

John Jermain Memorial Library

Stories and songs of the sea.


2 pm Art Walk on Gallery Row

Starts at Windmill

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. To 4 pm.


2:30 pm Bucket Brigade

Long Wharf

Teams pass buckets of water to fill a barrel. Winning team gets prizes.


3 pm Annual Whalers Cup Whaleboat Races

Windmill Beach


3 pm American Beauty Tour

Long Wharf


4 pm Lobster Roll Eating Contest

Long Wharf

Hosted by Bay Burger, this contest honors the participant who can eat the most lobster rolls in a given time. Last year’s winner, Matt “Mega Toad” Stonie, has turned pro (reportedly ranked number 10 in the world) and is not expected to defend his title, which means the field will be wide open.


5 pm Hike to Cedar Point Light

Meet at Cedar Point Park Parking Lot, East Hampton

The great-grandson of the last keeper of the light leads a hike out to the point, talking about the history of the light and efforts to restore it. Watch the sun go down, then hike back guided with lanterns.


6:30 pm Reception and Film: Madonna of the Mills

Bay Street Theatre

A special screening of the film about the woman who has saved 2,000 puppies from puppy mills. Screening and reception benefit the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. A brief panel discussion follows. $125 benefit tickets.


7 pm Concert: Singing Boys of Pennsylvania

Old Whalers Church

18 voice boys choir to benefit the Community House fund. Reception follows. $25/$20.


SUN


8 am Pancake Breakfast

Main Firehouse

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.


9 am Arts & Crafts Fair

Long Wharf

Local artisans. To 4 pm.


9:30 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.


10 am Sidewalk Sale

Main Street

Stores show their wares. To 4 pm.


10 am Refreshments al Fresco

Long Wharf

Food and beverages. To 4 pm


10 am Classic Boat Display

Long Wharf

Wooden-crafted vessels. To 4 pm.


10 am Cappy Amundsen Exhibit

Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

Sag Harbor’s celebrated maritime painter and a full range of his work. To 5 pm.


10 am Children’s Amusements

Long Wharf

Games and activities for the kids. To 4 pm.


10:30 am 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.


11 am Concert: John Corr

Long Wharf

A master of traditional seafaring music who welcomes a good old sing-along. To 4 pm.


11:30 am Concert: Sampawan’s Creek

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. To 3:30 pm.


11:30 am Tug-O-War

Before whaleboat racing action starts up again on Sunday, we invite all the kids in the crowd down onto the beach for a good old fashioned contest. 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.


11:30 am The Antiques Appraisal Dock Show

Sag Harbor Yacht Club

Free antique and collectible appraisals at the annual Antique Appraisals Dockshow returns to Sag HarborFest for its 11th season with local dealers providing on-the-spot consultations and informal appraisals of antiques and collectibles at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club. Antique owners are asked to bring only two articles to be appraised. To 1 pm.


12 Whaleboat Races Semifinals

Windmill Beach

Come down, cheer on your favorite team and see who will make it into the finals.


12 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’s winners were The Dockside and The Dock House. $5.


1 pm Waldo the Clown

Long Wharf

Bring the kids down for some clowning around. To 3 pm.


1:30 pm Oakland Cemetery Tour

Oakland Cemetery

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.


2 pm Firefighters Cup Whaleboat Races

Windmill Beach

The fourth annual HarborFest Firefighter Cup races features teams from local fire departments. Expected to be back to defend their title this year will be a team from Otter Hose Company.


2 pm Tour Temple Adas Israel

Temple Adas Israel

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


3 pm Nails and Whales Regatta

Breakwater Yacht Club

This regatta is open to the public as long as one person in the boat is a BYC member. Boats are available for charter and experienced crew will be provided to anyone who needs a crew. A female must be at the helm of the boat from the warning signal to the finish. The mission of the regatta is to empower women of all ages and experience levels, who might not otherwise brave the high seas, and to foster communication between the sexes. (Men and women are allowed to crew.) For more information contact Sara Nightingale at sara@saranightingale.com or 631-793-2256. $10.


3 pm Whaleboat Races Championship

Windmill Beach

See who gets to take home the Whalers Cup.


3:30 pm Clam Shucking Contest

Long Wharf

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. Pete Ambrose took top honors and is expected back to compete this year. Register at the Food Pantry Table.


8 pm Film: Flight 93

Bay Street Theatre

Flight 93 will be shown on the big screen in honor of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and Sag Harbor native and Flight 93 passenger Linda Kristine Gronlund, Esq.