Southampton Celebrates with SeptemberFest

The Maniac Pumpkin Carvers at Southampton SeptemberFest.
The Maniac Pumpkin Carvers at Southampton SeptemberFest. Photo credit: Tom Kochie

The clock has struck autumn, but fun in the Hamptons is far from over. This weekend, Southampton Village is throwing a three-day party to celebrate Southampton’s 375th anniversary, complete with food, music, events and entertainment.

“It is a celebration of 375 years,” says Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley, who has watched SeptemberFest evolve over just a few years. “Each year it grows a little more—more events, more groups. It is a full weekend of activities.” The post–Labor Day scene may be a little less frantic than the height of summer, but Epley has noticed more and more families are coming out to enjoy the weekends in the fall. As the offseason population has grown, so has SeptemberFest. The weekend-long event is the culmination of a group effort of many Southampton organizations—Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton Arts Center, Southampton Chamber of Commerce, Southampton Cultural Center, Southampton Historical Museum, Southampton Rotary Club and the Village of Southampton.

The Well Fargo Stagecoach at SeptemberFest.
The Well Fargo Stagecoach at SeptemberFest. Photo credit: Tom Kochie

In true Southampton style, SeptemberFest will kick off on Friday evening with a cocktail party in Agawam Park, sponsored by the Southampton Rotary Club. Enjoy wine and craft brews, local nibbles, and music provided by Beau Hulse, as well as a special performance by country crossover artists County Line Band. The proceeds will go to the Rotary Club’s Scholarship and Endowment Fund.

The cocktail party is just the beginning, as SeptemberFest hits the streets of Southampton starting on Saturday. Main Street and Jobs Lane will transform into an open-air theater, as musicians and street performers entertain passing pedestrians. Kids and adults will enjoy stilt-walkers and jugglers, while being serenaded by musical acts like Eastbound Freight, Jim Turner, Mick Hargreaves and Cassandra House. It wouldn’t be a Southampton weekend without the Farmers Market showcasing local produce, vinegars, honeys and more, and there will also be art vendors displaying their paintings, sculptures and photography and a juried art show.

Blues from Jim Turner at Southampton SeptemberFest 2013. Photo credit: Tom Kochie
Blues from Jim Turner at Southampton SeptemberFest 2013.
Photo credit: Tom Kochie

No one will go hungry or thirsty with a “Taste of the East End,” which offers plenty of choices of food and drink on both Saturday and Sunday. You can vote for your favorite in the chowder contest, and then take a relaxing ride on the Agawam Ferry, or climb aboard the Wells Fargo Stagecoach for a spin. Everyone in the family should explore the Friends of the Library Book Sale at Rogers Library to find the best in any genre.

There are also activities highlighting Southampton’s historic past. Don’t forget to mosey over to the Harvest Day Fair to experience activities and demonstrations of life in 19th-century Southampton. A photo booth complete with period costumes is just the ticket to create a lasting souvenir of SeptemberFest. There will even be a historical scavenger hunt.

Jester Jim at Southampton SeptemberFest.
Jester Jim at Southampton SeptemberFest. Photo credit: Tom Kochie

On the entertainment menu, you’ll find acts like Jester Jim, who combines juggling, comedy and beatbox skills. Mayor Epley is also pretty enthusiastic about another group. “We’ve got the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. They are absolutely unbelievable.” It’s not an exaggeration to say the Maniacs are the Michelangelos of pumpkin carving. Theirs are not your ordinary front porch jack o’ lanterns

A jack o' lantern by the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers.
A jack o’ lantern by the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. Photo credit: Daniel Gonzalez

On both days, there is something special for the little ones in your group. On Saturday, throughout the afternoon, there’s face painting, air-brush tattooing, and, of course, pumpkin decorating. Sunday, small kids can rock, bop and dance to a special Music Together program. Singing and/or clapping along is encouraged and grandparents are always welcome.

On Sunday, the Park is the place to be as the music continues, with artists Charles Certain and Certain Moves and Vanessa Trouble offering smooth jazz and R&B tunes. The more sophisticated fare continues with a dance demonstration and lesson in Argentine tango with Argentine Tango Lovers of Long Island.

In 375 years. Southampton has grown from a small colony of English settlers to a town known for its sense of luxury, style, culture and history. Enjoy all that Southampton has to offer at Southampton’s SeptemberFest.

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