It's a bit of a ride east, but for Nassau County residents looking for something to do, it's worth considering one of the North Fork's most anticipated events, which is back this weekend, as Greenport's 24th Annual Maritime Festival unfolds in the village.
This year, the focus of the event, presented by the East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation in coordination with the Village of Greenport, is on local agriculture, artisans, and aquaculture, with an array of local crafts, foods, and vendors, and a celebration of the East End's "Land and Sea."
Greenport Mayor David Nyce said this week that organizers and business owners worked well together to coordinate the event.
The Festival, which attracts over 40,000 people annually, features visits by Tall Ships, nautical arts and crafts, classic wooden boats, many activities for children and families, music, pirate shows, local produce and seafood, wines and craft beer, fireworks, and visits to the Bug Light lighthouse.
New this year is a Taste of the East End Food Court. Also new is a Little Merfolk Contest, as well as a chance for a photo with Jewel the mermaid at the Friday night reception.
This year's festival also pays homage to the oyster industry, which is a very important part of the area's maritime past. Local oyster farmers will be shucking on Front Street for impromptu consumption, paired with local wines and beer. A signature brew, "Oyster Stout," has been created by The Greenport Brewery for the event, organizers said.
In May, Rena Wilhelm, who sits on the Maritime Festival Committee, said rather than have outside vendors selling clams on the half shell or burgers, the goal was to feature local businesses, as well as chefs such as Keith Luce, who unveiled his Stirling Square project this season, and Scott Bollman, chef at Bruce's Cheese Emporium in Greenport, who also owns the North Fork Sea Salt Co.
"There won't be any vendors selling knock off pocketbooks this year," she said. "We don't want to bring someone in from outside to sell burgers and fries when we can get it from a business owner who is already here."
Here's a full schedule of events that'll take place over the fun-filled weekend.
Friday, Sept. 20
10 a.m.: The festival kicks off with ship tours, the carousel, the blacksmith shop, the Camera Obscura open. The East End Seaport Museum and the Village of Greenport will welcome maritime ships all weekend as a main attraction of Greenport’s annual Maritime Festival. The ships will be docked at Mitchell Park Marina’s fixed piers and will be open for viewing, tours and sail aways from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An information booth will also be located in Mitchell Park.
6 to 9 p.m.: A "Land and Sea" Reception, featuring "A Taste of Greenport," including dishes by local chefs and an array of local wines, will be held at the East End Seaport Museum. Tickets cost $45 in advance and $55 at the door. To purchase tickets, click here.
Saturday, Sept. 21
All day: Classic, Ice and Small Boats, Mitchell Park.
10 a.m.: Blessing of the Oyster Fleet, Railroad Dock, foot of Third Street.
11 a.m. –noon: Opening Day Parade and Blessing of the Waters, Mitchell Park Marina and Main and Front Streets.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Captain Kidd’s craft alley, treasure chest, children’s storytelling, plein air art show, North Fork first responders demo and exhibit, artisan vendors and demos, Maritime Museum, Railroad Museum, Blacksmith Shop, Carousel, Camera Obscura, roaming pirates interacting with visitors, A Taste of the East End Food Court at Main Street and Central Avenue, Old Greenport Jail, Stirling Historical Society, and Long Island Band Organ at Main Street and Central Avenue, all open to the public.
Noon - 6 p.m.: Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit, Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park.
Noon: Little Merfolk Contest Mitchell Park
1 p.m.: Constant Wonder Children’s Program, Mitchell Park
2 p.m.: Music Together in Long Island & Queens, Mitchell Park
BBQ Bill’s Watermelon & Rib-Eating Contest, Front Street
3 p.m.: Presentation: A Mermaids Tale of Greenport, by Gail Horton, Old School House
- Tattoo Contest, Mitchell Park
- Kayak Derby & Demos, Harborfront
Noon – 6:00 p.m." Music – Mari – Palooza Concert, Foot of Main Street
4–6 p.m.: "Bug Light" Cruise, Seaport Museum, Railroad Dock
2 - 5 p.m.: Tommy Sullivan, Long Island Music Hall of Famer and founding member of "The Brooklyn Bridge"
5–9 p.m.: Music, with The Laura Rivela Band, Mitchell Park
9 p.m.: Fireworks over Greenport Harbor, Mitchell Park MarinaSunday, Sept. 22All Day:
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Captain Kidd’s craft alley, treasure chest, children’s storytelling, plein air art show, North Fork first responders demo and exhibit, artisan vendors and demos, Maritime Museum, Railroad Museum, Blacksmith Shop, Carousel, Camera Obscura, Old Greenport Jail, Stirling Historical Society, A Taste of the East End food court at Main Street and Central Avenue, and roaming pirates interactinf with visitors, all open to the public.
Noon- 6 p.m.: Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit, Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park
Noon: Music Together in Long Island & Queens, Mitchell Park
- Dory Race and Water Sports, Harborfront
1 – 2 p.m.: Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 8 and under, Mitchell Park
1 - 4 p.m.: Music Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, sponsored by WPKN, Mitchell Park
2 – 3 p.m.: Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 9–16, Mitchell Park
Noon - 4 PM: Music – Mari- Palooza Concert, Foot of Main Street
4 - 6 p.m.: "Bug Light" Cruise, Seaport Museum, Railroad Dock
4 p.m.: Festival Raffle Drawing, Mitchell Park
4:30 p.m.: Eastern Long Island Hospital Raffle Drawing, Mitchell Park
5 p.m.: Festival Closing
5 - 8 p.m.: "Flights of Fancy/Part 2": Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting, The Sirens’ Song Gallery, Main Street