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HarborFest returns to Sag Harbor for year 50

A whaling skiff races during an elimination round

A whaling skiff races during an elimination round of the Whalers Cup challenge as part of HarborFest 2012 in Sag Harbor. The 2013 competition will take place Sept. 7-8. Credit: Ian J. Stark

When it comes to the Hamptons, after Labor Day Weekend passes by, talk of the “summer being over” is spurred by the many seasonal residents who quickly pack LIRR trains, Jitney buses, company cars and other forms of transportation to return to their city homes – with many already gone as soon as the day following Labor Day.

However, anyone who lives in or visits Sag Harbor this weekend can not only get a taste of summer fun, but a chance to really sample all that the bayside hamlet has to offer, as ‘Sag is once again throwing its annual, family-friendly “HarborFest” all day Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 8-9).

The town hosts many events as part of the ‘Fest, but visitors should note that this jubilee (now in its fiftieth year) is not just a chance to watch participants get involved in various contests and programs -- as during the days of the celebration virtually every boutique, gallery and eatery on Main Street opens its doors, with some presenting special discounts and deals. Additionally, the wharf at the end of Main (known as “Long Wharf”) will be filled with vendors of many sorts, so expect a bevy of snacks, clothes and other goodies for sale not normally found in town.

But, if competitions and events are what you crave, here is a breakdown of the weekend’s special happenings:

Saturday, Sept. 7

2 p.m.: Firefighters Cup whaleboat races | Location: Windmill Beach

3 p.m.: Whalers Cup whaleboat races (Elimination round) | Location: Windmill Beach

6 p.m.: Celebration of Breakwater Yacht Club’s anniversary. Features barbecue food, open bar and dancing. Tickets are $60 in advance (at, $70 at the door ($50 for people under 21)

Location: Breakwater Yacht Club: 51 Bay St., 631-725-4604

Sunday, Sept. 8

Noon: Whaleboat Races Semifinals | Location: Windmill Beach

Noon: blues musician Jim Turner plays live | Location: Long Wharf

Noon: Clam Chowder contest. Local restaurants battle annually to claim top honors for best potage. Expect to pay $5-$10 to get some tastings. | Location: Long Wharf

3 p.m.: Whaleboat race (Championship round, for the “Whalers Cup”) | Location: Windmill Beach

3: 30 p.m.: Clam-shucking challenge (register at the Food Pantry Table on Long Wharf)

4 p. m.: Lobster Roll Eating Contest. Contestants attempt to eat the most in a to-be-announced time frame. Email to reserve a spot (the event is hosted by Bay Burger of Sag Harbor). | Location: Long Wharf

Expect lots of traffic and tough parking. For more information, head online to


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