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Hundreds attend Port Washington HarborFest

Nine year old Hinako Okuyama jumps rope for

Nine year old Hinako Okuyama jumps rope for the Japan Relief Fund during the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce hosted its 21st Annual Harborfest Dock Day and Craft Festival on Sunday (June 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Ursula Moore

In celebration of its nautical heritage, the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce hosted its 21st Annual Harborfest Dock Day and Craft Festival on Sunday.

The event, held at the Port Washington Dock, entertained visitors with activities such as trolley rides, kayaking, face-painting, talent shows, Art in the Park showcasing local artists, Enviro-Park hands-on exhibits about Manhasset Bay, a model boat and stagecoach rides.

Individuals of all ages enjoyed the festival. Seven-year-old Michael Bischoff of Port Washington especially enjoyed drinking his strawberry smoothie on the warm day.

He and his mother, Grace, stated that the festival is a great way for the community to join together. “I like that everybody comes here and we have fun together today,” said Michael.

The yearly festival began with volunteers in search of a way to preserve the Manhasset Bay sea life.

“Port Washington is a nautical town and a group of volunteers from the community were concerned that the Manhasset Bay sea life was dying 21 years ago and started the Harborfest as an environmental awareness event and by the second year, it turned into a festival," said Bobbie Polay, executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce. “We have this day because we want people to come to the waterfront and appreciate it.”

Warren Schein and Mitch Schwartz, co-presidents of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t agree more and were thrilled about the great weather for the festival.

“Good weather, good food and good fun makes for a good Harborfest day,” said Schwartz.

Visiting the Harborfest for the first time was Jason Cherry of Port Washington, his wife Nikki and daughters Nina, 8 months, and Ella, 2.

“This festival is great,” he said. “The food is great and the activities for the kids are great. This is our first year and we love it.”

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