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Port Washington's HarborFest brings waterside fun

Take a harbor cruise or bring the kids for a sail and some new games.

Erin Lamberson and daughter Amelia, 13, of Sound

Erin Lamberson and daughter Amelia, 13, of Sound Beach take a tour during Port Washington's 2017 HarborFest. Credit: Johnny Milano

Port Washington’s Annual HarborFest Dock Day and Craft Fair returns for the 28th year Sunday, June 3 — but with some new attractions and activities, including sailing on small boats for children and an antique auto show for car lovers.

Other first-time features will be a fishing game, children’s gymnastics, and a tadpole and salamander display.

Bobbie Polay, executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, says the event will have something for all ages, so it’ll be a great day out for the family.

“People can spend the whole day out on the waterfront,” Polay says. “They can participate in the cruises and eat from morning till night.”

HIT THE WATERSIDE

All the festival’s events are free except for cruises around Manhasset Bay, which will cost $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 to 12 years old (those younger aren’t allowed on cruises).

“There’ll be 90 craft vendors on Main Street right along the waterfront and the Port Washington Fire Department will be demonstrating their fireboat throughout the day,” Polay says. “There’ll be tons of stuff for kids, lots of arts and crafts activities, baseball and basketball contests and a dunk tank, which everybody loves.”

TAKE A SAIL

John Thomson, owner and operator of Atlantic Outfitters, has traditionally provided kayaks and paddle boats for the day and will again, but this year small sailboats have been added. Thomson says children at least 10 years old can go out on the boats by themselves in pairs, or a child can go with an adult. Rides of up to 15 minutes will be offered on one of two 12-foot Open Bics, a single-handed boat designed for younger sailors.

“I grew up sailing, and it’s a great thing to teach children self-confidence and self-reliance,” Thomson says. “They can get outside and get away from their computers.”

Novices and experienced boaters are welcome.

“My 13-year-old son will be taking other kids out — he started sailing class when he was 8 and he grew up with me,” Thomson says. “Kids can also give it a try [alone], but there’ll be a chase boat following them in case there are any problems.”

Thomson will be adding a fishing game this year, with children fishing for fake fish in a pond for prizes.

OTHER ENTERTAINMENT

The day’s plans also include nautical singers and entertainment, a family-fun stage and talent show, the opening of a treasure chest and foods from local restaurants.

Polay says one old favorite is expected to be popular again this year: “Everyone loves walking around with ‘pickles on a stick.’ ”

HarborFest Dock Day

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the Town Dock and Lower Main Street, Port Washington

INFO 516-883-6566

ADMISSION Free ($25 boat rides)

ALSO TRY

Bay Day

You can also take to the water this weekend in Oyster Bay’s summer kickoff at The WaterFrontcq. don’t let tansa change/kb Center, which offers family-friendly tastes of paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing, besides the fun-to-watch “anything that floats” race.

WHEN | WHERE Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at The WaterFront Center, 1 West End Ave., Oyster Bay

INFO 516-933-7245, thewaterfrontcenter.org

ADMISSION Free

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