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Land and Sea Gala set for shipyard — not Fifth Street Park

Sarah Phillips

Controversy was averted at Thursday night’s Greenport Village Board meeting since trustees didn’t have to vote on a resolution to allow the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation to use Fifth Street Park for its annual Land and Sea Gala.

That’s because Greenport Yacht and Ship Building has offered its space for the event, which is set for Sept. 25 between 6 and 9:30 p.m.

The gala is the first event of the three-day Greenport Maritime Festival and is a fundraiser for the museum. It has been held at Claudio’s restaurant in the past, but that space wasn’t available this year, East End Seaport Museum representative Sarah Phillips said, adding the event’s organizers have been scrambling to find a new location for the gala.

“We will be hosting the event at the best location that was offered to us, which is going to be Greenport Yacht and Ship Building,” she said. “[Owner] Steve Clarke has offered his property for the evening and allowed us to not only use the property, but to keep the event in the business district and on the water front.”

At a Village Board work session last Thursday, Ms. Phillips had suggested Fifth Street Park as a possible alternate site if trustees didn’t agree to allowing the gala to take place at Mitchell Park, which was her group’s first choice.

The museum also plans to erect a 40-by-80 foot temporary tent for the event.

Since tents are prohibited in some areas of Mitchell Park, the Village Board had a resolution on its agenda Thursday to allow the event to be held at Fifth Street Park — despite opposition from some residents.

“I don’t want the Maritime Museum putting up a 40-by 80-foot tent on Fifth Street Park and having a party,” resident Bill Swiskey said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “It just doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood.”

Resident Chatty Allen agreed and said: “I don’t want hundreds of cars down at Fifth and Sixth Street.”

Ms. Phillips told the Village Board she had “no intention of offending neighbors” when she asked about Fifth Street Park.

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Photo: East End Seaport Museum representative Sarah Phillips at Thursday’s Village Board meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)