Maritime Festival returns with changes this weekend

Greenport Martitime Festival Suffolk Times
JAY WEBSTER PHOTO | While most of the Maritime Festival events take place along the waterfront, some cause participants to end up in the water.

Cries from Greenport Village Board members and residents to make the annual Maritime Festival more than just another street fair have not gone unheeded.

That’s East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation board president Ted Webb’s message to those planning to visit the village this weekend for the 22nd annual festival.

A number of prominent events and exhibits will remind people of what’s special about this festival, Mr. Webb said.

“Each year, we strive to make it more waterfront, more nautical,” Mr. Webb said. “We’ve got everything under control except the weather. It ought to be a wonderful time.

There will be more vessels in the wooden boat show in the harbor and at Mitchell Park, said Mr. Webb. About a dozen large classic boats will be tied up in the harbor and two dozen smaller boats in the park.

“Beautiful hand-crafted wooden boats and iceboats will add an eye-catching dose of maritime flavor to the 22nd annual Maritime Festival,” said festival planner Pat Mundus. She has had a hand in restoring boats and encouraging renewed interest in both building and restoring wooden boats.

A kayak derby, snapper fishing and dory races will add to the maritime flavor. Two new cruises will highlight the village’s rich maritime history, Mr. Webb added.

On both Saturday and Sunday, a shuttle boat will carry visitors to Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse. It’s the first time in at least 10 years that the lighthouse has been open to the public. With a new dock built by Costello Marine in place, visitors are now able to safely access the building, Mr. Webb said.

Bob Allen, whose great-grandfather was a keeper at Bug Light, will offer tours. The structure was built in 1990 to replace the original Bug Light, so named for the insect-like appearance of its spindly steel legs. That building was destroyed by arsonists on July 4, 1963.

The cost for the round trip and tour is $30 per person or $20 for foundation members. Children under 10 are excluded.

The second addition is a five-hour lighthouse cruise leaving the dock at 4 p.m. Saturday and will stay out for fireworks over the harbor Saturday night.

The Maritime Museum will be open both days for tours of its latest exhibits and there will still be the ever-popular chowder contest, fielding local chefs competing to prove they make the best chowder on the North Fork.

And for the second year in a row, the rebuilding of Bug Light was taken into consideration in selecting Bob and Lillian White as parade grand marshals. The former owners of White’s Hardware provided the bolts, nuts and screws. But their combined service to the village through the years went much beyond that effort. Mr. White dedicated 65 years of service to the Greenport Fire Department, three of them as chief. He also served on the Eastern Long Island Hospital Board of Directors, the Greenport Village Board and Planning Board and the Floyd Memorial Library Board. Ms. White was president of the Friends of Floyd Memorial Library and a founder of the Greenport tree committee.

The Kings of the Coast pirate troupe returns for shows and a treasure hunt, along with a pirate museum showcasing pirate history.
Mira Dougherty-Johnson will be in Mitchell Park telling sea stories and singing sea shanties on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The street will still be lined with vendors, not all of whom have goods related to the village’s maritime history, Mr. Webb said. But their fees to participate are the lifeblood of the foundation’s major fundraising event, he said.

The festival gets under way with the Land and Sea Cocktail Reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the museum. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for other guests.

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