The Steinbeck Festival Returns to Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater will be the starting point for the weekend’s signature event, the “Travels With Charley” dog walk

The third annual Steinbeck Festival, held in honor of the celebrated author who lived in Sag Harbor from 1955 until his death in 1968, will take place Saturday and Sunday, with events at several venues in the village.

The festival will kick off Saturday at 5 p.m. with a V.I.P. reception at Harbor’s Edge. The event will include a boat tour of the Steinbeck property, which overlooks Sag Harbor Cove. Tickets are $125.

Bay Street Theater, organizer of the festival, will be the starting point for the weekend’s signature event, the “Travels With Charley” dog walk, which will begin Sunday at 11 a.m., wind through the village, and conclude with bagels and bones at the theater.

Sag Harbor was the departure point for Steinbeck’s 11-week cross-country trip with Charley, his French poodle, which formed the basis for his book “Travels With Charley.” Jill Rappaport, a journalist and animal advocate, will again lead the walk. The cost is $25, $35 the day of the event. A pledge form for walkers who want to enlist sponsors can be downloaded from A portion of the proceeds will benefit Athe Animal Rescue Fund, and a prize will be given to the walker who raises the most money.

The John Jermain Memorial Library will host “John Steinbeck and Sag Harbor: A Love Story” on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tom Clavin and Joe Pintauro, Sag Harbor writers, will discuss Steinbeck’s life in the village and provide a look at the private man behind the famous books. The event, which is limited to 18 participants, will include refreshments and a question-and-answer session. Preregistration has been suggested.

Canio’s Books is not to be left out of the celebration. The bookshop will host “Trucks and Dogs,” photographs by Kathryn Szoka of pooches with their trucks and, in some instances, their human companions, taken in Sag Harbor during the 1990s. The exhibition, on view from tomorrow through May 26, is a tribute to Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley.”

On Saturday at 5 p.m., Canio’s Cultural Cafe will present a talk about Steinbeck’s ethical philosophy by Richard Hart, a Steinbeck scholar, professor of ethics and philosophy at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, N.J., and vice president for academic relations for the International Society of Steinbeck Scholars. Mr. Hart will provide examples of the author’s moral philosophy in his works of fiction, including “Of Mice and Men,” “Cannery Row,” and “The Moon Is Down.”

The Sag Harbor festival has previously coincided with the National Steinbeck Center’s annual celebration in Salinas, Calif. This year, however, the center has canceled the festival, which would have been its 35th, electing instead to make it a biennial affair.