The 30th Annual East End Maritime Festival is Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22 in Greenport village. This North Fork tradition, run by the East End Seaport Museum to benefit the museum and Seaport Foundation, celebrates the nautical culture of Greenport and has a full schedule of fabulous family friendly events throughout the weekend.
“It’s our 30th celebration of our maritime culture,” says Linda Kessler of the East End Seaport Museum. “For us, we’ve come a long way from a tiny little museum and we’ve gotten to the point where we have a wonderful program. We’re celebrating a lot of our growth and it’s kicking off our 30th year of being owners and stewards of the Bug Lighthouse. We’ve owned that and it’ll start off our capital campaign so we can give her a nice facelift.” Kessler hopes guests will enjoy the improvements to the East End Seaport Museum. “We’re very proud of its appearance and are excited to feature restaurants and local fare and to be part of a nautical community, showing off our wooden boats and ice boats.”
The festivities kick off with the Land & Sea Gala on Friday, September 20. “Land & Sea is going to be the party of the century!” Executive Director Barbara Poliwoda exclaims. “It’s going to be a super-special event. We have restaurants, wineries, local distilleries, libations, a raw bar that is going to be fantastic.” There will also be several auctions featuring local wares and services. Returning to the festival this year is the chowder contest, which hasn’t been held in five years. This year, there will be two categories—clam chowder and other types of chowder.
Kessler believes that the Maritime Festival is truly special to the North Fork. “I think that there’s a huge community of people who respect our waters and who are well-connected, both emotionally and as commercial fishermen, and I think people try to hold on to our heritage. When people come to Greenport they can see that we still have the active shipyard, wonderful boats in the harbor, the commercial fishing boats coming and going, so when people come here they’re not just seeing a street fair—they’re seeing a village that is trying to keep with its heritage.”
Schedule of events
Friday, September 20, VIP 5:30 p.m/General Admission 6:30 p.m. Land & Sea Gala
Saturday, 11 a.m. – Merry Merfolk Parade
Saturday, 2 p.m. – Kayak races
Saturday, 7 p.m. – DJ in the Park
Saturday, time TBD – USCG Helicopter Rescue Demo
Saturday & Sunday – Power Squadron
Saturday & Sunday – Mystic Whaler Cruises
Saturday & Sunday – Captain Kids Alley
Saturday & Sunday – Coast Guard Auxiliary
Saturday & Sunday – Coffee Sack Race
Saturday & Sunday – Irish Step Dancing in the Park
Saturday & Sunday – Tall Ship Columbia
Sunday, noon – Chowder Contest
Sunday, 1 p.m. – Storytime in the park
Sunday, 2 p.m. – Snapper Contest
Learn more at eastendseaport.org.