Tag Archive | "HarborFest"

HarborFest Winners

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Monica Miller throws up her hands as she finishes in second place at the Clam Schucking Contest during the second day of HarborFest 2012 on Sunday, 9/16/12

There were blue skies and a blustery wind for this year’s Sag HarborFest, held last weekend throughout the village. With a wharf full of food vendors and craftsmen, walking tours through the historic neighborhoods and a sidewalk sale up and down Main Street, thousands of visitors came to help celebrate Sag Harbor’s maritime heritage. As always there was a host of contests for children and adults to participate in.

In the corn shucking contest there was a tie for first, between brothers Brandon and Matthew Braccia. Winner of the tug-o-war was the team made up of Kristin Pettigrew, Madie Martin, Joyce Areia, Amaro Padilla and Georgia DeNardo; both events sponsored by eth Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

In the clam chowder contest, sponsored by eth Sag Harbor Food Pantry, the Dockhouse retained its title for making the best red chowder, while B. Smith’s claimed the top spot for white chowder. Claiming the Shucker of the Year title in the annual clamshucking contest, also sponsored by the food pantry, was John Tocco.

The whaleboat races for the coveted Whalers Cup, sponsored by The Sag Harbor Express, saw a modest field this year. Team Whalers, with Billy Martin, Ray Pettigrew, Sean Beyel and Chris Tice on board took first in the men’s division for the 15th year, while the team from Joseph Labrozzi, Jr., with Autumn Berndt, Erica McSweeney, Heidi Wilson and Meghan Kezer in the boat, won in the women’s division.

The Sag Harbor Dive Team successfully defended its championship in the Firefighters Cup Whaleboat Races, with a team of Scott Fordham, J.R. Wilson, Rich Simmons and Mike Guyer.

 

Fiveash Takes a Bite Out of Bay Burger Lobster Roll Eating Contest

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Sunday afternoon was crisp and clear in Sag Harbor — ideal weather for the second day of the annual HarborFest celebration. But for six brave souls it was also a chance to stretch their eating skills (and stomachs) at Bay Burger’s third annual lobster roll eating contest on Long Wharf.

And it was a repeat customer who took the top prize.

Emory “E Train” Fiveash, who took a second place prize in the contest last year, won the event this time around, consuming four and a half lobster rolls in five minutes, according to Bay Burger owner Joe Tremblay.

Fiveash, a caddy at The Bridge Golf Course, was cheered on by fellow golfers and according to Tremblay was the only contestant who took to strategizing to earn the $250 first place prize. Fiveash poured water over his lobster rolls to make them more easily consumed, a decision that aided in his victory, although likely impacted the flavor of Bay Burger’s lobster rolls, which were made this week with a lobster delivery from Stuart’s Seafood Market in Amagansett.

Fiveash also took home the coveted Bay Burger lobster roll eating contest trophy, handcrafted by Tremblay himself, who cooks (and paints gold) a five-pound lobster claw each year for the winner.

Bay Burger, located on the Sag Harbor Turnpike, will continue to sell its lobster rolls through Columbus Day weekend, said Tremblay.

…Just in case you want to practice for next year.

Update: 2012 HarborFest Schedule; Lobster Roll Eating Contest at 4 p.m. on Sunday

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

6 pm Harvest Sampler and Wine Tasting

Whaling Museum

The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum, a building that is in fact at the heart of Sag Harbor history, both emotionally and physically, will host a reception to mark the beginning of HarborFest, and the close of their seasonal art exhibit, “For the Birds.”  The evening features a tasting of local wines and a sampling of locally grown fruits and vegetables. $10.

 

8 pm Film: It Happened One Night

Starring Clark Gable. Tickets are $5 at the door. For the $28 dinner and a movie prix-fixe dinner at Dockside

 

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

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.

 

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. Restaurants and food purveyors expected to participate include Bay Burger, Phao, Muse, Tim’s Market, Golden Pear and Bagel Buoy. 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 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 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, and information on free e-books and audio books. To 4 pm

 

10 am “For the Birds” Art Exhibit

Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

Presented by Peter Marcelle Gallery and featuring work by Dan Rizzie, Andrew Wyeth, Tom Judd, Amy Pilkington, Kimberly Goff and others. To 5 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.

 

10:30 am Children’s Story Time

John Jermain Memorial Library

Stories and songs of the sea.

 

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 3 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 – Elimination Round 1

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 Team Whalers in the Men’s Division and Sag Harbor Liquors in the Women’s Division.

 

1 pm 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

 

2 pm Firefighters Cup Whaleboat Races

Windmill Beach

The fifth 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 The Sag Harbor Dive Team.

 

2:30 pm Bucket Brigade

Long Wharf

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

 

2:30 pm Children’s Story Time

John Jermain Memorial Library

Stories and songs of the sea.

 

3 pm Annual Whalers Cup Whaleboat Races – Elimination Round 2

Windmill Beach

 

3 pm Concert: Hopefully Forgiven

Long Wharf

This group features Brad Penuel & Telly Karoussos Alt-Country/Americana rockin’ guitar duo. Brad came to NYC, and eventually Sag Harbor, from Alabama, by way of the country music scene in Nashville. Telly has long been an influential rock and roll balladeer on the East End.

 

3 pm American Beauty Tour

Long Wharf

5 pm Historic Walking Tour of Eastville

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. $5.

 

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 pm Concert: Nancy Atlas Live

Bay Street Theatre

Local rock & roll legend Nancy Atlas and her band will rock Bay Street Theatre in this special performance. $15.

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

 

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 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 Paddleboarding Event

Windmill Beach

Demonstrations and an impromptu short course race. Bring your bathing suit and take a quick lesson, or bring your board and sign up to race.

 

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 “For the Birds” Exhibit

Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

Local and national artists. 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.

 

11:30 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.

 

12 Whaleboat Races Semifinals

Windmill Beach

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

 

12 noon Concert: Jim Turner

Long Wharf

Traditional and classic blues and folk music. To 2 pm.

 

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 the Dock House took first place in both divisions and is expected back again to defend their title. Also expected to compete are B. Smith, Bell and Anchor, Cromer’s Market, The Dockside, Golden Pear, Il Capuccino, LT Burger, MJ Dowling, Page at Main and The Paradise. $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.

 

2:30 pm JY-15 Women in One Design Regatta

Breakwater Yacht Club

The regatta is open to sailors of all genders, but the helmsperson must be female. Women of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to participate. The mission of the regatta is to empower young, old and middle-aged women of all sizes and experience levels, who might not otherwise feel compelled to brave the high seas, and to foster communication skills between the sexes. The entry fee will be $10 per boat, and Breakwater YC will provide boats for an additional $25. Breakwater Yacht Club membership is not required, though it is strongly encouraged. The JY15 is a two person dinghy that is widely used for junior sailing programs as well as for racing. Racing will happen in waters off Havens Beach.

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.

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, Will “The Champ” Millender, consumed six-and-one half lobsters in five minutes.

 

Reaching Out to the Community

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web Biz Harbor Pets

By Andrew Rudansky

Pulling together all the details related to Sag Harbor’s annual HarborFest every year is a lot of work. Alan Fruitstone will certainly attest to that. Fruitstone, a member of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce and owner of Harbor Pets on Bay Street, is in the midst of organizing this weekend’s HarborFest for the third year in a row.

But the finish line is now within sight. All of the hard work is coming to a head with HarborFest officially beginning on Friday, September 9 and running through Sunday. From film screenings at Bay Street Theatre and whale boat races by the windmill, to food contests, kids events and even an archeological dive at Long Wharf, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

“It feels good to be almost done,” said Fruitstone. “It gets stressful but I like the interchange with the vendors and the interchange with the people.”

Fruitstone said that HarborFest is a special event in the village because it helps Sag Harbor retain its essential “essence.”

His own business, Harbor Pets, located at 12 Bay Street, has long been a part of the village landscape and has existed in one form or another for almost 35 years. Fruitstone and his wife, Hannah Elias, bought the business from a previous owner in 2004.

Inside, customers will find a range of pet supplies to keep their furry, feathered or scaly friends fed and comfortable. But dog grooming plays a big role in Fruitstone’s business model. He said that on any given week in the summer 70 to 125 dogs come through the door for services that leave them looking their best. This accounts for 40 percent of Harbor Pets’ yearly business.

The store’s popularity among dogs and their owners is helped by the fact that Harbor Pets employs two full-time groomers who have been on the staff for several years. According to Fruitstone, this consistency in personnel is very important because it has the potential to attract repeat customers.

“This is a very personal business,” Fruitstone said. “A dog grooming shop is just like a barber shop or a hair salon … We definitely have people who ask for a specific groomer.”

He said that his customers care a great deal about their animals; and just as people develop relationships with their barber or haircutter, they also do the same for their dog’s groomer.

In addition to the grooming services, Fruitstone’s store is a fully functioning pet store that sells food, animal toys, leashes and animal accessories. Harbor Pets does not, however, sell animals, a conscious choice made by the owners.

“We feel there are so many dogs already out there that need to be adopted,” said Fruitstone, continuing that he didn’t want to indirectly contribute to the large number of unwanted dogs.

“We try to create an atmosphere at [Harbor Pets] of not being just a store but instead an experience,” he said.

Fruitstone said that being a part of the larger community and providing a personal atmosphere in the store have always been primary in his thinking.

The added work of organizing HarborFest has made Fruitstone a very busy man of late. Among his many responsibilities involve setting up the artists and artisans market, something that he introduced to HarborFest last year.

The market, comprised of individual stalls, provides local artists with the chance to showcase their wares in a public square. Fruitstone said that almost every artist at the market will come from the East End, a decision made by Fruitstone in order to keep the local identity of the festival.

HarborFest is many things to Fruitstone. It is a celebration of Sag Harbor’s history, an end of summer family day, a charitable fundraising effort for the local food pantry and a fun time meant to extend the summer season past Labor Day. Most of all it’s an effort to bring the community closer together.

The festival provides activities and vendors for any and all interest. Fruitstone said he was particularly excited about the clam shucking contest.

“That contest gets downright dirty in terms of competition,” he said with a smile.

There will also be live music, food vendors, a village wide sidewalk sale, traditional whale boat races and guided historical tours of the village.

“We are trying to do things old fashioned,” said Fruitstone, “we are trying to keep it simple.”

While there are many different ways of enjoying HarborFest, Fruitstone said that his favorite thing to do every year was grab a bowl of clam chowder on Saturday and watch the whale boat races.

“HarborFest is a tribute to the history of Sag Harbor,” he said. “The people in Sag Harbor are very different than the people in the other Hamptons … Has this village changed? Absolutely. But what has stayed the same is that people care.”

Annual HarborFest Schedule is Set

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web whaleboats

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.


HarborFrost Plans to Bring Spark to Winter

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By Claire Walla

HarborFest … in February?

That’s the idea.

This winter, the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce aims to hold the first of what it hopes will become an annual tradition based on the successful September event. This one will instead be called HarborFrost.

This year’s proposed one day Frost, tentatively set for Saturday, February 5 from 3 to 7 p.m., will revolve around the theme “Fire and Ice,” an idea that will manifest itself through the event’s main spectacles. In addition to flanking Main Street with two ice sculptures (as of yet with undetermined designs), the event will be capped-off by a fire works display that will light-up the winter sky over Long Wharf. Event planners are also floating the idea of having a hot soup contest (in the same vein of HarborFest’s chowder contest), and will encourage local restaurants to offer post-fireworks prix fixe menus.

“The goal is to get some sort of winter activity to give Sag Harbor families something to do in the wintertime,” said chamber member Phil Bucking, owner of the Sag Harbor Gardening Center and one of the catalysts behind this year’s event.

Plans to implement HarborFrost are not yet set in stone, though the Chamber of Commerce hopes to have insurance and logistical documentation to the village trustees by Friday, a few days before the board’s meeting on Monday, January 10 at 6 p.m.

Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Robert Evjen said that he and other chamber members have been toying with the idea of creating a winter festival for a few years now. Based on the success of HarborFest, held each September, HarborFrost will bring people to Main Street for a day of shopping, eating and celebrating — in spite of the cold.

“We want an event that will help our businesses in the winter months,” Evjen added. The event could be especially helpful for stores looking to clean-out last year’s summer merchandise in preparation for the coming year. Keeping with the theme of fire and ice, one of the chamber’s ideas is for stores to sell summer (fire) merchandise alongside winter (ice) goods.
Previous attempts to create such a Frost have included more ambitious activities, like a Polar Bear Plunge and plans to bring an ice-skating rink to Main Street. But these ideas never came to fruition, Bucking said.

“Funding has been an issue, and it’s sometimes hard to get people involved,” he added.

This year, however, event organizers have a clear and simple plan of action, with several financial pledges already in place.

The total cost will run about $14,000, more than half of which is already expected to be covered by financial pledges.

Prudential Douglas Elliman, Brown Harris Stevens, Hampton Gym Corp and the Sag Harbor Express have pledged money that will go toward the cost of the ice sculptures (which will cost a total of $7,000); and local non-profit Save Sag Harbor has signed on to cover all media costs (which are budgeted at $2,000). What’s more, the Grucci family, which estimated the cost of a five to seven minute firework show at $5,000, said it would match any amount over that $5,000 total dollar-for-dollar. (In other words, if the chamber raises $7,500, the Grucci’s will put on a $10,000 show.)

Other Main Street businesses have reportedly expressed interest in making small financial contributions, should the village approve plans for HarborFrost at its trustee meeting on Monday.

“Since this is the first year, the plan is to do more and make the event bigger [each subsequent year],” Bucking explained. “This time, we just want to get the ball rolling.”

HarborFest September 11-13 2009

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HarborFest Whale Gets a Makeover

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web Whale 2

As a boy, local resident Dirk Early fondly remembers watching a 30 foot long replica of a whale skimming through the waters of the bay during the Old Whaler’s Festival of the 1960s. Some 20 years later, after the festival was discontinued and the whale had long since been destroyed, Early banded together the community to build a new whale for HarborFest. During this year’s festivities, a patched up whale will grace the bay waters, as members of the community have once again come together to keep this village symbol alive.

There were two original whales, one was black and another was white, built in the early 1960s by several local men, including Tom Buttonow, Bob Freidah and John Galoski, and served as a compliment to the Old Whaler’s Festival.

“We took a 25 foot boat and built a 30 foot whale on top of it,” recalls Freidah.

Buttonow pointed out that the original whales featured moving tails, but were constantly damaged during the festivities since part of the fun of the event was harpooning the whale in memory of the village’s whaling history.

But by the end of the 1960s, the festival was discontinued due to difficulties in obtaining the necessary permits from the village, remembers Freidah.

With the creation of HarborFest in the early 1990s, Early decided to bring back the replica of the whale and employed the Sag Harbor Fire Department and friends to help in the effort. Early and friend Roy Schoen sketched preliminary drafts of the whale on a napkin at The Corner Bar and later spoke with Buttonow to learn how the original ones were constructed.

With the help of the fire department, Early purchased a small rowboat for $200 to use as the base of the whale. The new whale, with its white body and smiling mouth filled with pearly teeth, took almost seven months to build as the bulk of the work was done by a crew of volunteers after work or on the weekends. The project, said Early, was mostly financed by the Sag Harbor Village Fire Department and through private donations.

The whale made its official debut during the fourth of July parade in 1993 and has remained a village fixture every since. But this year, the reproduction was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The bottom of the boat, which the whale sits atop, was in desperate need of repair and wasn’t in sound condition to return to the water.

In 2009, as was the case in 1993, working on the whale — tis time to fix it — became a community effort with several locals donating their time and service. Although the bottom of the boat was in bad condition, Early said it couldn’t be replaced without destroying the whale in the process.

“Every inch of the whale is incorporated into the boat,” remarked Early.

Thus, Early and members of the team involved in repairing the whale contrived a creative solution. Sag Harbor’s Russ Nill, who owns a roofing company out of Southampton, made the bottom of the boat waterproof by lining the bottom with black rubber roofing material, which Early predicts will work like a charm come this weekend.

For now, the fixed up whale is waiting on land at the Ship Ashore boat yard, owned by Rick Pickering, until it can return to its native home for HarborFest.

But this time around, there will be no harpooning — Greenpeace put a stop to that years ago.

Sag HarborFest 2009 Schedule

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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 hamptonstrackclub.org.

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.


Ongoing


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


Whaleboats, Fake Whales and a Real Town

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John Steinbeck once told Bob Freidah when they were planning the Old Whalers Festival that what the event needed was some good competition. Steinbeck imagined a race of some kind, a manly sort of sport that would recall the days when whalers haunted the local gin mills before heading out to sea for years at a time, chasing sperm whales and right whales across the open ocean. It was that spirit of adventure, of pitting man against the sea, or against a whale, or against his fellow man that he apparently believed would bring yet more life to the fledgling annual gathering. (Or maybe he was looking for a good laugh, since he also proposed sending stout-hearted men 30-feet out on to a greased pole dangling perilously above the waters off Long Wharf to capture a flag. They then, presumably, would shimmy their way back without taking a dunking in the cold harbor. In New Bedford  — one of Sag Harbor’s rival whaling towns — it continues to be a popular “sport”, if one can call it that, and the one who returns with the flag apparently also wins the heart of a local gal. In any event, organizers demurred because they thought it too dangerous. Or the insurance bill too high.)

The gang that first conjured up the Old Whalers Festival, arguably the most famous bacchanal of its kind, which attracted thousands to the village in the days when Sag Harbor was hoping to reinvent itself in the face of certain economic reversals, had planned a weekend of great festivities in late June to jumpstart the summer season. There would be fireworks and exhibitions where some of the finest trained retrievers anywhere would show their stuff off the beach near Long Wharf. They had beauty contests for women (Sag Harbor had apparently not yet evolved to the point where it could practicably have beauty contests for men), and even welcomed the women from Miss Rheingold.

There was a parade with floats and bands and the notorious North Sea Fire Department.

There was a “town crier” who symbolically lit the lamps on Main Street to start the festival off, an evening where the Whalers Chorus would sing.

And there was a beard growing contest. Competitors would begin in early spring with ceremonial shavings on the same day, and over the months leading up to the festival would kid each other about how successful or unsuccessful each other was in growing facial hair. The contest would culminate on the opening night of the festival when each of the contestants appeared before a crowd in the auditorium of what is now Stella Maris Catholic School. Each dressed as if they were to head out to sea the following morning to chase whales: striped shirts, bandanas, oil skins with suspenders, pork pie hats and some with pipes clenched in their teeth. The beard and the costume were actually two parts of a three-part presentation, the third testing their ability to bring their crew’s attention to the matter at hand. Each was required to bellow out a “Whale–hooooooooo!”, which apparently either drew cheers or laughter from the audience.

The winner was named Old Whaler of the Year, and assumed the exalted role of the festival’s grand marshal.

But it was arguably the racing of whaleboats, which Sag Harbor’s Nobel laureate had proposed to Bob Freidah and other organizers, that wound up drawing the most attention about 40 years ago when the festival first was born.

There are many pictures that hang on my office wall, but one in particular seems apropos. It is of some guy standing in a whaleboat about to plunge a harpoon into the back of a black whale. The whale is a fabrication, built atop a skiff with a small outboard for moving the whale around. As one story goes, there was actually a man in the belly of the whale one morning, having, unbeknownst to all, snuck out there the night before for a quiet spot to sleep after an evening enjoying the fruits of local watering holes. As morning welcomed the competitors to the water the harpoonist on the lead boat thrust his lance through the leviathan’s canvas skin and barely missed skewering the poor gent who was awakened by the roar of the crowd. Among all the dangers of the whaling industry, I don’t think the earliest practitioners ever imagined this particular risk. Truth be told, I cannot verify that any of this is true, — although I have heard the story in several versions, and feel it is so wonderful and helps me imagine a time in Sag Harbor I was unfortunate not to have experienced that I felt obliged to perpetuate it here.

It’s unclear in the retelling of all the stories about the Old Whalers Festival what killed the actual real-life fake-harpooning of an artificial whale: the near death experience of the sleepy Jonah, or the celebrated threat of Greenpeace to come and protest the event. But in subsequent years the event became more a rowing race; perhaps a portent of calmer times ahead.

In his now famous “Manifesto,” the preamble to the Old Whalers Festival’s second annual journal, Steinbeck promised that they had learned from their mistakes of the previous year, and now would be able to make them sooner.

At the same time, echoing that kind of rough and tumble justice that must have been the norm in the old whaling days, he vowed that any differences of opinion would be settled out by Otter Pond, or, he predicted, in it.

In the spring of 1991 I was asked to help organize some events around the launch of “Sag Harbor: The Story of an American Beauty,” a history of this remarkable community by Dorothy Ingersoll Zaykowski. The Sag Harbor Historical Society was publishing the book and thought a parade and some other events on a Saturday afternoon would be a good way to bring attention to the book. I went to Bob Freidah for advice, and for the past 18 years there has been a festival where dozens of local organizations come together every fall to commemorate the maritime and cultural history of Sag Harbor.

And one of the most popular events is the whaleboat racing where teams of four grab tiller and oars to race around a whale floating in the harbor. (Greenpeace hasn’t threatened to come back and we haven’t threatened to harpoon the fake whale).

By many accounts, we live in a more genteel time here in Sag Harbor. There are giant mega yachts tied to Long Wharf, with luxury salons, and the restaurants and bars that provided lunch and refreshments for the men and women who worked in the local factories have all been gentrified. When the Old Whalers Festival was in its flower Rowe Industries, Grumman and Bulova were still active, and Steinbeck’s promise that justice would be carried out in Otter Pond might not have been too far from being true.

Today’s festival is a decidedly quieter affair, and there doesn’t appear to be the need for the frontier justice Steinbeck evoked. Although there was the time Dirk popped Howie for grabbing his oar illegally as they were rounding the second mark in the 2003 whaleboat races.