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Greenport festival highlights history, maritime tradition

The Kings of the Coast Pirate Troupe, left

The Kings of the Coast Pirate Troupe, left to right, James Lusciano, Thomas McKenna, Jason Fierro and Jeff Heyman, on ground, finish their sword fight on the shore of Greenport Harbor at the Maritime Festival. (Sept. 22, 2012) Credit: Andrew Kozak

Blue skies, warm weather and the bright sun reflecting off Greenport Harbor brought a picturesque close to summer in Greenport as Long Islanders bid farewell to the season with the 23rd annual Maritime Festival.

The smell of seafood filled the air Saturday as vendors sold lobster sandwiches and oysters during the festival that celebrates its history and maritime tradition. Hundreds attended the three-day festival hosted by East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation.

“It helps to feature the history of Greenport,” said Lisa Dabrowski, 43, a lifelong resident of Cutchogue.

Dabrowksi, a local writer, has been to the festival since its start, but is spending this year hosting a book signing for her children’s book, “Mr. Woolly and Friends.”

Dabrowski said the festival “shows Greenport was an important center for fishing and maritime.”

Festival-goers walked aboard the U.S. Coast Guard’s training ship, Barque Eagle. The giant triple-masted ship, called “America’s Tall Ship,” gave visitors a feel for life on the high seas. Zaida, a double-masted ship used in World War II, was also on display.

The Greenport Jail and Police Museum also opened its doors to showcase the two-room jail cell.

Lyn Fay, of Southold, posed for a picture behind bars, while reassuring her 2-year-old son Edward they were not getting locked up.

“All that history comes alive,” said Dabrowski.

The Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. set up a beer garden near the harbor front and provided spots along Main Street where festival-goers could pick up drafts.

“It’s been a long day,” said Matt Sucich, 26, of Kings Park, a bartender serving beers to festival-goers along Main Street, as he wiped sweat from his face.

More than 100 boat owners docked in the marina to come ashore and take part in the festivities.

“It’s fun for the whole family,” said Shelley Inglis, who came from New York City with her daughter Era, 4. “We wanted to bring the kids to do something fun and different.”

Mary Herrick, a board member of the maritime museum, said in the last decade the festival has played a more important role than just an afternoon of fun.

“My favorite part of the whole thing is seeing the people all congenial with each other and the children having fun.”

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