Like most of the popular annual events held on the East End, Greenport’s Maritime Festival has been canceled, according to Paul Kreiling, the chairman of the East End Seaport Maritime Museum and Marine Foundation.
The event, now in its 31st year, is a fundraiser for the museum and the Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse bringing thousands to Greenport for one September weekend.
“It couldn’t possibly meet the state requirements for social distancing,” Mr. Kreiling said in an interview. “Look what’s happening with the village itself. They can hardly contain the crowds that they have. Why would we invite more?”
The festival had been scheduled for Sept. 19 and 20 this year. It joins other popular East End events that have been cancelled this year out of fear that large gatherings will result in the spreading of COVID-19. Those events include the Polish Town Festival and Alive on 25 in Riverhead, the San Gennaro Festival in Hampton Bays, the Strawberry Festival in Mattituck and the Hampton Classic horse show in Bridgehampton.
“We are exploring options this fall as a way to celebrate our maritime culture,” Mr. Kreiliing said.
He would like to at least have a few displays to show the area’s history.
“We’re hoping to have some wooden boats in the park, just as a display, he said. “And we’re looking to have ‘reservation-only’ walks thought the Seaport Museum, along with trips to the lighthouse.”
With its main fundraiser canceled, Mr. Kreiling said East End Seaport Museum will be looking for donations and other ways to keep its activities running. Vendor fees from the festival is the organization’s primary source of income, he said.
The event also included the Land and Sea gala, a parade, chowder contest and family friendly activities each year.