Greenport approves chowder festival, rejects yard sale

The crew from the Blue Canoe hands out chowder during the 2012 festival. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)
The crew from the Blue Canoe hands out chowder during the 2012 festival. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

As the East End Seaport Museum begins to test the waters on new potential fundraising events it is receiving some resistance from the Greenport Village Board. 

On Tuesday the board approved road closures that will allow the nonprofit to host its first-ever June chowder contest, but denied the museum the use of Mitchell Park for a proposed yard sale fundraiser planned for Aug. 2.

The Maritime Yard Sale would have been another first for the Seaport Museum, which has been working to create new fundraiser events throughout the year rather than relying on revenue generated from its largest event — the Maritime Festival — like it has in the past.

While village board members said they support the concept of hosting events throughout the year, a majority believed Mitchell Park is not the right venue for a yard sale. Members said they didn’t want to set a precedent by allowing such an event at the park and they voiced concerns about traffic congestion.

“I don’t feel that Mitchell Park is the place to have a yard sale,” said Trustee George Hubbard. “[The museum has] space on [its] property. I don’t think it is appropriate.”

The board voted 4-1 against the proposal with Mayor David Nyce being the only supporter of bringing the new yard sale to Mitchell Park.

“It is my opinion that we should help them with those ideas,” he said. “I want to give them a chance.”

Although the yard sale will not be coming to Mitchell Park, the board voted unanimously in favor of closing roads near the Chase Bank parking lot on Carpenter Street for the chowder contest on June 8.

The competition is traditionally held during the Maritime Festival, but organizers did away with the event last year due to logistical reasons, a move that caused backlash from some residents.

The Seaport Museum vowed to bring back the chowder contest this year, but decided to hold it in June, a move they say will  allow more chefs to participate since their restaurants are busy during the festival.

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