Top 10 outdoor entertainment events on LI this summer
Outdoor concerts and festivals, from Great Neck to Orient, will keep us plenty busy this summer. A new batch of entertainers is making its debut at the crowd favorite Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, and Glen Cove is launching its own new summer tradition: a seaside festival. Here are our 10 favorite special outdoor events going on around Long Island this summer.
WATCH A KOSHER GRILLING CONTEST
It's hard to imagine a barbecue competition without the pork -- but it's happening. The second Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship is set for June 9 at Temple Beth Torah in Westbury. Teams will be grilling specialties, and spectators are welcome to watch (free admission, likosherbbq.org).
JAM WITH RICHIE
Saxophonist Richie Cannata (you know him from the Billy Joel Band and the Beach Boys) brings a piece of Manhattan to his hometown when his Monday Night Jam Band from The Bitter End plays a free concert in downtown Glen Cove. Grab supper in town at The Downtown Café or Marra's, which offer outside dining with a view of the stage (7 p.m. Aug. 9, 516-759-6970, glencovedowntown.org/downtown-sounds).
GREAT SOUTH BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Forget Lollapalooza -- we have our own multiday outdoor music festival. The three-day event, July 19-21, at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, will have acts playing three stages. The Doobie Brothers, Billy Squier, Dark Star Orchestra and Electric Hot Tuna are just four of more than 60 acts slated this year, along with arts and crafts vendors, food and brew tents and a kids area ($26.99-$35 a day, 631-331-0808, greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com).
EXPLORE A NEW FESTIVAL
New in Glen Cove: the Sea Faire, July 6-7 along the waterfront. Festivalgoers can peruse arts and crafts tents while enjoying Italian and carnival food. A nautical theme is wrapped in with info on the sunken Regina Maris (a three-masted topsail schooner) and treasure hunt. Rides, games, music and fireworks, too (free admission, 516-455-3179, seafaireatglencove.com).
Lobster lovers can join hundreds of like-minded friends at the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville June 25 for its annual Lobsterpalooza. It's a pretty idyllic affair -- diners crack into half- or whole-lobster picnic dinners overlooking the water. There's live music and dancing in between roaming the museum's outbuildings with historic watercraft ($35-$45, reservations required; 631-447-8679, limaritime.org).
ROCK 'UNDER THE STARS'
Thousands flock to the Town of Oyster Bay's "Music Under the Stars" concert series, known for bringing headline acts in for free shows. This season's lineup has yet to be announced, but last year's roster included biggies such as Smash Mouth, America and Dennis DeYoung of Styx (July-August at select town parks, 516-797-7900, oysterbaytown.com).
SAMPLE CRAFT BEERS
Bring your brew crew to Bald Hill Cultural Park in Farmingville for a day of hops at Beer Fields, a craft beer and music festival June 29. More than 50 breweries showcasing 150-plus brews will be doling out samples all day. Eight live bands, including Dirty Heads and the Wailers, will provide the entertainment ($25-$49, 631-648-2500, pennysaveramp.com).
WITNESS A REGATTA
Imagine a clear August evening with you dressed to the nines, standing on the rail of a classic wooden yacht cheering on sailors racing through Oyster Bay. It's not quite a scene from "The Great Gatsby" -- but it's close. The Mill Neck Family of Organizations is having its regatta benefit Aug. 1 with cocktails and dancing ($50) following at the historic Mill Neck Manor House. Be a spectator aboard the Christeen oyster sloop ($75, millneck.org).
SEE A SHOW AT JONES BEACH
Really, there's nothing like it. The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater concertgoing experience begins in the parking lot, where full-on tailgating starts hours before showtime. Gradually the masses drift into the outdoor amphitheater, where acts like Rascal Flatts (Friday), One Direction (June 28-29) and Maroon 5 (Aug. 11) rock out on a stage surrounded by water (516-221-1000, livenation.com).
SING ALONG TO 'GREASE'
You know you do it all by yourself -- now you can have some company. The YMCA Boulton Center in Bay Shore turns back the clock to the summer of 1978, screening the classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Singing along is encouraged (lyrics will be displayed on-screen). Moviegoers can dress as a T-Bird or a Pink Lady for the night in a costume contest. Goody bags, too ($22.50, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15, 631-969-1101, boultoncenter.org).