Seaside sights, sounds, and tastes will bring the masses to the 24th annual Greenport Maritime Festival this weekend to benefit the East End Seaport and Marine Foundation and to celebrate the village’s 175th year. Over 40,000 people have attended the event in the past, whether for a glimpse of visiting tall ships, maritime demonstrations, or offerings from local artisans.
A sprinkling of fireworks over the harbor on Saturday night is just a spark of the entertainment scheduled for all ages, with activities for the younger folk including a snapper-fishing contest on Sunday and waterfront pirate shows throughout the weekend. Contests for adults will include the consumption of watermelon and ribs at BBQ Bill’s on Front Street.
Tomorrow night’s land and sea reception at the East End Seaport Museum will kick off the festival with A Taste of Greenport from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets, which include food and spirits from local chefs, restaurants, and merchants, cost $45 in advance, or $55 at the door.
A blessing of the Oyster Fleet will start the show on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Railroad Dock at the end of Third Street. At 11, the waters will be blessed and a parade will commence at the Mitchell Park Marina on Main and Front Streets. A cruise around Bug Light will sail from 4 to 6 p.m. from the Seaport Museum on both Saturday and Sunday.
Live music at Mitchell Park will include a performance by Tommy Sullivan, a member of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by the Laura Rivela Band, who will perform through 9 p.m. On Sunday, it will be Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks from 1 to 4 p.m. A full schedule of the events can be found at an information booth as well as online at eastendseaport.org.
Although the festival officially closes as 5 p.m. each day, many local businesses will offer a reason to stick around, including “Flights of Fancy,” an art exhibit and wine tasting, at the Sirens’ Song Gallery on Sunday, and live music at Blue Canoe Restaurant overlooking the harbor throughout the weekend.
The annual clam chowder contest has been canceled, despite efforts made by Keturah Hurst of the Greenport Farmers Market. She offered the not-for-profit organization’s space, tables, and tents to continue the iconic tradition, but it was too late for a save this year, due to staffing issues. The local farmers, shuckers, bakers, and roasters, will be at their regular location on Saturday at the Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for those wishing to browse the local goodness, and will remain there for four more weeks.