RANDEE DADDONA FILE PHOTO
Last year’s kayak derby got off to a wet start as spectators looked on from a village dock during the Greenport Maritime Festival.
For the 21st consecutive year, Greenport is preparing to welcome the thousands of visitors who flock to the village for the Maritime Festival.
And they won’t be disappointed. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever, festival coordinator George Peter said. Thanks to the efforts of philanthropist Roy Morrow, a part-time Greenport resident, Saturday’s parade will feature six or seven bagpipe bands. On the 20th anniversary of the completion of the Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse reconstruction, it’s appropriate that George Rowsom, who helped coordinate that project, will be parade grand marshal, Mr. Peter said.
“I think it’s the best parade I’ve ever been to,” Mr. Rowsom said of last year’s event. “It’s just like something out of Norman Rockwell.” (Story continues below video.)
But even when the parade steps off on Main Street at 11 a.m. Saturday, the festivities will have been under way for more than 24 hours.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, plein air artists — those who paint outdoors and on location — will be at Mitchell Park and along Main Street near the docks, capturing aspects of the old fishing village. Their works will be on display at Mitchell Park between 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday and then can be purchased at a silent auction from 6 to 8 that night at Mitchell Park.
Revelers will open the festival Friday night with the Land and Sea reception at the East End Seaport Museum. Tickets are available by calling 477-2100. The cost is $25 for members of the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation, which sponsors the festival, and $30 for others. Those who aren’t members can join the organization Friday night for a fee of $25 and take advantage of the discounted price for the reception.
Boating enthusiasts won’t want to miss the kayak derby at 3 p.m. Saturday and the dory races at noon on Sunday. Those wishing to participate in the dory races should call Rob Buchanan at 917-656-7285. There’s no fee and no experience is necessary. Dories are available for practice prior to the races. For information about the kayak derby, call the museum at 477-2100.
For the second successive year, there are likely to be two pirate groups competing for attention in Greenport.
The Kings of the Coast Pirates will perform in Mitchell Park at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and again at noon and 3 p.m. Sunday. Heath Cohen of Patchogue is the captain of the group. But the Greenport Maritime Pirates, under the direction of Jamie Davis, again plan to invade the village, too.
Also on the pirate front, local author Terese Svoboda will be at Floyd Memorial Library at 3 p.m. Saturday reading from her new novel, “Pirate Talk.”
A Maritime Festival booklet, published by Times/Review Newspapers, was distributed with the papers two weeks ago, and additional copies will be available at various sites around the village during the festival.