Ah, September. The kids go back to school, the heat and humidity dissipate, and it is once again time to celebrate Sag Harbor’s food, crafts, sights and sounds at HarborFest. The pace may be just a smidge more low-key than our frantic summer, but there’s still plenty to delight local folk and to entice visitors back for another weekend out East. This Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, the best of Sag Harbor will be available to taste, buy, experience and enjoy at the annual HarborFest.
The party gets started on Friday night at the Whaling Museum with a family-friendly kickoff, A Whale of a Picnic from 6–9 p.m. Your admission ticket gets you a night of noshing on Cromer’s addictive fried chicken and dancing to tunes spun by DJ Carlos Lama, all on the great lawn of the Museum. Architecture fans will appreciate the beauty of the Greek Revival mansion with its impressive columns, and those who want to soak up the final warm evenings of the season can enjoy the green grass under their feet and the cool tunes in their ears.
“We are taking full advantage of the whole wharf,” promises Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Fields. For parents always on the lookout for family-friendly events that will please kids from preschoolers through tweens and teens, HarborFest is a goldmine. “We will have lots of old-fashioned children’s activities,” remarks Fields. Between the potato sack races, corn shucking contests and hula hoop competition, your kids will forget they even own an iPad.
Those who like their fun a little more edgy won’t be left out, as Hampton Flyboard will be giving demos on both Saturday and Sunday. “It’s like something out of The Jetsons,” says Fields. The Flyboard is a water jetpack that sends the wearer soaring into the blue while they are being towed along by a jet ski, which all sounds—and looks—like something out of Mythbusters. The Riva brothers, East Enders who are avid surfers, fell in love with the extreme sport in Florida, and brought the Flyboard to the area to thrill visitors and locals.
The thrill of being on the water continues with the annual Whaleboat Races. The intense competition pits seafaring crews against each other, with races held on both Saturday and Sunday. Sign up now!
For the fitness fans who prefer their tootsies on terra firma, mosey over to Windmill Beach at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning for a Pilates class with Norma Jean Pilates. It’s free, fun, and you’ll feel far less guilty about scarfing all the fabulous fare at the Taste of Sag Harbor. Foodies will want to take note of the Clam Chowder Contest on Sunday, sponsored by the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. Spoon your chowder, cast your vote, and get a bonus point in your karmic bank account by supporting the Food Pantry. Sunday morning, don’t forget to take the gang to the Sag Harbor Fire Department Pancake Breakfast—you can support the SHFD, and have your pancakes and eat them, too.
Of course, one of the burning questions of HarborFest is always, where do I park? There’s plenty of parking at Haven’s Beach, and your stroll down Bay Street to Long Wharf will take you right to the Arts and Crafts Fair in Marine Park. Meander along the booths and check out one-of-a-kind items from local artisans. For those who really, really think ahead, it’s even a time to get a very early jump on the Christmas shopping. Don’t forget all the goodies displayed for your perusal by all your favorite Sag Harbor businesses—the Sidewalk Sale will be rocking all weekend, right on Main Street.
It’s not HarborFest without tunes, and there will be live music all weekend, with Jim Turner, John Corr, Sampawams Creek, and even a set or two from the Sag Harbor Community Band.
So, enjoy, imbibe, feast, shop, savor and celebrate historical, amazing Sag Harbor.