Six Things You Can’t Miss at Sag HarborFest 2016

Harborfest 2015 Whaleboat Races
Harborfest 2015 Whaleboat Races

Sag Harbor is the place to be this Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11! In the spirit of HarborFest, every corner of the village comes alive to celebrate its heritage. There’s something for everyone, from shopping to galas. For the refined palates there’s a chowder tasting. For the forever hungry there’s a lobster roll eating contest. For the sports spectator, cheer on your favorite whaleboat as they race across the harbor.

Sure, it’s a celebration of maritime history, but we all know that festivals are also about the fabulous and unique shopping opportunities. This weekend, the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce will also present an Arts and Craft fair and sidewalk sale. Local businesses sell their wares in the open air, while artists and artisans display their one-of-a-kind works. Sales will take place in the Marine Park and along Main Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The tradition of whaling has never been for the faint of heart. While men set out for the open seas on large ships to hold their numbers, and their hauls, true whaling involved long row boats and men with harpoons and nerves of steel. Sag Harbor residents celebrate the town’s whaling history this weekend with a boat race out toward a whale target in the harbor. Boats are run on manpower and pride. Defend your seafaring honor! The races will begin at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, visit the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum for an evening of short documentary films by local filmmakers. Film shorts include Jackson Hyland Lipsky’s  The Cloud, Julian Thomas Alvarez’s The Land God Made in Anger, Luca Ritter’s Dumbo in 16mm, Benjamin Potter’s Drink 2 and Nick Whelan’s Cuba Cuba. Visit to find out more.

On Saturday at 8 p.m., at Bay Street Theater, the Complete Unknowns play a tribute to Bob Dylan in celebration of his 75th birthday. Covering Dylan’s repertoire of five decades, the band will explore the nearly endless collection of Dylan’s music, honoring his musical influence and putting their own new spin on each work. The band will play songs from albums Desire, Planet Waves and Blood on the Tracks. Find out more about the performance and ticket information at

This is one culinary event you do not want to miss, and a dish “Hamptons Epicure” columnist Stacy Dermont has named one of her top foods of 2015. The Harborfest chowder tasting and contest is a fierce seafood competition with delicious consequences. Taste the winning entries for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. Head over to the Food Pantry booth on long Wharf on Sunday at noon to participate. Visit for more information.

Back again by popular demand, Sag Harbor’s Bay Burger presents a contest of delicious glory. Have you ever polished off a lobster roll and thought, “I could eat a dozen more of these?” Are you prepared to defend that thought? Head over to Bay Burger’s tent on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and find out how many of these delicious local dishes you can really eat. Everyone’s a winner when you’re eating lobster rolls.

More from Our Sister Sites