Sag Harbor’s annual celebration of its maritime past and East End culture is upon us once more, and HarborFest 2011 promises to be filled with plenty entertainment, eating and indulging in local history. As you prepare to head into the old whaling town for three days of gallery tours and historic strolls, food contests and live music, whaleboat racing and the big parade, be on the lookout for…
•Moby Dick references a plenty. The Herman Melville novel gives a shout-out to Sag Harbor in four chapters (12, 13, 57 and 83).
•Cappy, The Life & Art of C. Hjalmar Amundsen at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. Cappy Amundsen was inspired by Moby Dick artist Rockwell Kent to create his own whaling paintings. Amundsen wound up with his own whaling works in a show at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum in 1956—the same year the movie Moby Dick came out. (See, there’s two more Moby Dick references for you already).
•Competitive-eating fans ready to cheer-on lobster-roll eaters. The world record for lobster-roll eating is held by Takeru Kobayashi, who scarfed down 41 lobster rolls in 10 minutes. Yes, there is a world record for such things.
•A lot of people saying Shuck, which, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is the outer covering of a nut or Indian corn, as well as the shell of an oyster or clam. Shuck also means to remove the aforementioned outer coatings. Shuck is not what one screams if slicing one’s hand in a clam-shucking contest…but it’s close.
•The Whalers Cup—given to the winner of the whaleboat racing competitions that highlight HarborFest. The Clam Chowder Contest winners get a pewter mug.
•The final resting place of Captain David Hand—the model for Natty Bumppo in James Fennimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series, which includes The Last of the Mohicans—in Oakland Cemetery.
•Temple Adas Israel, the oldest synagogue on Long Island. The story goes that its first Torah was a gift from Theodore Roosevelt.
•Cedar Point Lighthouse, which was decommissioned in 1934, and three years later bought for $2,002 by Phelan Beale, who allegedly wanted to make it a hunting lodge. When he died, his wife Edith Beale—aka Big Edie of Grey Gardens fame, the aunt of Jackie Kennedy Onassis—sold it to Isabel Bradley. Suffolk County bought it in 1967 and made it part of Cedar Point County Park.
•The Sears Roebuck Mail Order House, which Lippman Johnson actually purchased out of a catalog in 1925. Lippman or members of his family lived there until the mid-1980s, and in 1996 it was acquired by the Village of Sag Harbor for use by the Eastville Community Historical Society.
•Visitors looking out into the harbor and playing the “which boat belongs to Billy Joel” game. Don’t be one of them. Look for the classic skiffs and sailboats on display by the Long Wharf instead. Much cooler.
“10 Fun and Fascinating Finds at Harborfest 2011” is brought to you by Dodds & Eder. To find fabulous items and advice for your garden, you can visit Dodds & Eder in Sag Harbor during HarborFest or visit them at doddsandeder.com.