Harborfest 2018 Showcases Sag Harbor History, Pride and Fun

Harpooning the whale at the 2017 Harborfest whaleboat races, Photo: Barbara Lassen
Harpooning the whale at the 2017 Harborfest whaleboat races, Photo: Barbara Lassen

With the passing of Labor Day, the Hamptons summer officially comes to a close. Now, the focus shifts from attracting tourists to celebrating the local communities that provide cultural riches, and one of the greatest examples of these celebrations is Harborfest. The village-wide block party is the epitome of Sag Harbor pride, honoring its gallant maritime history and its vibrant culture.

This year, there’s much to celebrate! The Sag Harbor Partnership successfully purchased the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema, which was devastated by a fire in 2016, and has broken ground on the beautiful redesign. Demolition has begun on the 1.25 acres of land that will become the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park—named in tribute to the famous Sag Harbor writer. And the 2018 Harborfest offerings are bigger and better than ever before.

The weekend kicks off with the Spotlight on Boating and Fishing cocktail reception at Breakwater Yacht Club (51 Bay Street) on Friday. The party features a boat show, food, drink and live music by Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks. Bay Street Theater (1 Bay Street) continues the fun with an epic tribute to Bob Dylan, courtesy of The Complete Unknowns. And it follows up the next evening with a gut-busting night of All-Star Comedy starring Dan Perlman, Dave Temple and Pat Dixon. 631-725-9500, baystreet.org

The Arts and Crafts Fair and Whale of a Sale return once again and showcase the best of Sag Harbor retail. The fair is set up at Marine Park (waterside, past Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Gym) and features clothing by Dear You and Inca Heritage, accessories by Huggable Knits and Stella Krasinski Design, jewelry by Eyes on You and Panache Jewelry, art by Juan Reverberi and Tommy Rickard and so much more. The sidewalk sale brings all the best deals outside, so you don’t have to miss all the free live music while perusing the great local products. Acts on the Long Wharf include the Sag Harbor Community Band, The Scofflaws, Wiggleboy, The HooDoo Loungers, Jim Turner, Tim Fitall and Sampawams Creek.

Don’t miss the annual whaleboat races on Saturday and Sunday, which task rowing teams with racing to a fake, white whale; harpooning it with a plunger; and hurrying back to shore to advance to the championship round. The festival has plenty for the little ones to do too, including tug-of-war, magnet making, hula-hooping, potato sack races, corn shucking contests and other fun activities.

RELATED: 2018 Harborfest Schedule and Fun Village Events this Weekend

While you’re in the Village for Harborfest this weekend, explore Sag Harbor, past and present, at these incredible art and museum exhibitions.

The Sag Harbor Historical Society, located in the Annie Cooper Boyd House (174 Main Street), boasts an extensive collection of photographs that capture Sag Harbor’s residents, buildings and important moments. It also has over 500 written documents, such as diaries and letters, and many artworks created by Boyd herself. 631-725-5092, sagharborhistorical.org

The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum’s (200 Main Street) current exhibition is Looking Up, Looking Out: At the Sky and the Stars, at the Land and the Sea, featuring works by Vija Celmins, Ann Chwatsky, April Gornik and John Torreano. These artists are fascinated by the heavens and express their adoration in unique ways, some literal and some abstract. On view through September 16. 631-725-0770, sagharborwhalingmuseum.org

Artist Ben Fenske turns his attention to home and hearth in a solo show on display at Grenning Gallery (17 Washington Street) through September 16. In it, he paints intimate interiors and gorgeous landscapes that capture the beauty of his Italian homeland. 631-725-8469, grenninggallery.com

This month, the Tulla Booth Gallery (66 Main Street) is honoring renowned photographer Stephen Wilkes, whose work has been featured in Time, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times Magazine. His wildly popular “day to night” photos are truly stunning, stitching together the span of an entire day into one unbelievable image. On view through September 27. 631-725-3100, tullaboothgallery.com

More from Our Sister Sites