SouthamptonFest 2023 Brings Family Fun to Village Sept. 29-Oct. 1
SouthamptonFest returns to the Village of Southampton, September 29–October 1, with the 11th annual weekend-long event featuring arts and crafts, live entertainment, amusements, shopping, pumpkins and the popular chowder contest, plus a whole lot more.
“SouthamptonFest is a yearly tradition in the Village of Southampton which aims to bring together the local community in an all-day celebration of the season on the East End,” says SouthamptonFest organizer Nancy Kane. “It also serves to showcase our vibrant village, its shops and cultural institutions. Mainly, it’s a fun and festive way for the community and visitors to experience all that our great village has to offer.”
The weekend begins with a high-energy cocktail party at the Southampton Arts Center on Friday, featuring live music by Damaged Goods and complimentary beer and wine from 6:30–8:30 p.m., followed by a cash bar until 9:30 p.m., sponsored by the Southampton Rotary Club. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/3Pmd6Gp.
Saturday, September 30 is an all-day event with happenings throughout the village. Bands will perform in Agawam Park and at the Southampton Arts Center. The popular Chowder Contest, featuring entries from local restaurants and caterers, will return, and food trucks will offer even more delightful dishes. Crowd favorite Jester Jim will perform and create balloon animals, and the Southampton Fire Department will provide their hook-and-ladder truck with sky-high opportunities to go up in the ladder.
“I am particularly looking forward to the great slate of music and entertainment,” says Kane. “And I cannot deny, the Hampton Flea + Vintage, new this year, is a personal favorite of mine to find vintage treasures for my home.”
Taking place in Agawam Park on Saturday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., the Hampton Flea + Vintage will showcase one-of-a-kind treasures and rare antique finds. At the same time, the park will offer rides on a ferris wheel and old-fashioned wooden slide. From 11 a.m.–4 p.m., the Southampton Ice Rink will present a synthetic rink where kids can practice their slap shots with giveaways and prizes, and from 11 a.m.–6 p.m., the Southampton Artists Association, a not-for-profit organization that gives both professional and amateur East End artists opportunities to showcase their work, will have pieces for sale in their Artists in the Park show.
The Southampton Village Police Department will host the Coffee with a Cop event — an opportunity to ask your local police officers about what they do to keep the community safe in Agawam Park from 1–4 p.m. The Charles Certain Band performs from noon–2 p.m., and at 3 p.m., traditional Shinnecock dances will be performed by the Boys and Girls Club of Shinnecock Nation (also performing at SAC 2 p.m. Saturday). The live entertainment in the park concludes with an exciting performance by Mean Machine, 3:30–5 p.m.
“Over the years we have done our best to spread the festival throughout the village, and while Agawam Park remains an anchor, we have events all through the village,” Kane shares. “We try each year to offer something new and exciting to draw visitors back each year and surprise and delight them with new attractions as well as traditional events.”
The Saturday schedule at the Southampton Arts Center is somehow even fuller! Open 11 a.m.–5 p.m., SAC will offer the last chance to see the fascinating exhibit Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World. Through 4 p.m., the Kids Zone will offer arts and crafts, face painting and pumpkin decorating with Rogers Memorial Library, and the North Sea Maritime Center will guide adults and children through an interactive touch tank of live creatures native to the Peconic Estuary provided by East End Explorer. Jester Jim will delight young audiences with shows at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. From noon–2 p.m., EastBound Freight will provide the entertainment during the Chowder Contest, which will see its winner announced by the mayor at 3 p.m.
“We are indebted to Nikki (Cascone-Grossman) from the beloved Cheese Shoppe on Main Street for wrangling the chowder contestants, and I always look forward to sampling the best the East End offers in terms of chowder,” Kane says.
Just outside, on the front steps of the arts center, Tarot Tauk will provide tarot reading and Reiki sound baths from 1–4 p.m. The Next Level Band will bring the SAC festivities to their epic conclusion with a show running 3:30–5 p.m. But don’t miss the 360-degree camera on hand noon–5:30 p.m. to capture your most Instagramable moments!
Throughout the village, businesses and organizations are planning to get in on the SouthamptonFest fun. The Art + Design Walk will take place with participating galleries and stores, encouraging participants to explore. Participants can pick up a card at the Chamber of Commerce or at any participating business, and if they get the card marked at each stop, they can enter to win a grand prize package. “It’s a fun way to see the design stores and art galleries that populate the village,” Kane notes, adding, “Speaking of art, we are indebted to the Southampton Association and Peter Marino Art Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this year’s festival.”
Additionally, Southampton Village Trustee Robin Brown has created a magical, musical event throughout the village called “The Sound of Art” with local high school musicians at various art galleries interpreting what art sounds like to them.
The Southampton History Museum’s Pelletreau Silver Shop will open its doors to guests for a jewelry making workshop and stories of silversmithing in Southampton. Tours of the historic cemetery on North Main Street as well as sidewalk sales and tastings from village shops and restaurants will take place throughout the village. Heart of the Hamptons Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt is a self-guided family tour throughout the village with prizes available from noon–4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, and the church will also host crafts and games for kids.
The Southampton African American Museum will present tours of the museum, including an exhibition of works by Tariku Shiferaw, Making Space: One of These Black Boys, and the Southampton Cultural Center will present Icelandic Poetry: Photography by Ron Buchter and Keith A. Manning.
Finally, on Sunday, October 1, the popular Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market will close out SouthamptonFest 2023, providing visitors to Agawam Park with fresh produce and tasty treats from local purveyors.
Learn more at southamptonvillage.org.