Hamptons Police Department officers were called to Main Street in Sag Harbor last weekend after members of Ye Olde Sag Harbor flooded the sidewalks in front of the newly lit Sag Harbor Cinema façade to protest the neon sign’s return.
Despite the widely accepted view that the Sag Harbor sign is an iconic and very special symbol of the village and local history, the “old timey extremists,” as they’ve been dubbed, compared its red neon to Times Square, Las Vegas and LA’s Sunset Strip, chanting, “Neon lights? Heck no! Sag Harbor’s sign has got to go!”
According to Warren Vanha, president of Ye Olde Sag Harbor, his membership seeks to bring the former whaling village back to its roots, “with dark skies, no cars, no yachts and no crowds.” The neon sign, he explains, is “far too futuristic for our historic little burg,” adding, “Next thing you know, we’ll have robots running rampant in the streets and flying cars filling our skies with smog and traffic.”
Police were able to disperse most of the crowd soon after they gathered, while allowing a few stubborn protestors to remain in a cordoned-off area that wouldn’t impede pedestrians of vehicular traffic.
“I expect this won’t be the last we hear from Ye Olde Sag Harbor,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said on Tuesday, “but we feel confident that the community, including both locals and summer visitors, support the sign, which we’re all glad to see returned to its rightful place.”