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HarborFest: What You Need to Know

As most Port Washington residents know, the 24th annual HarborFest Dock Day and Craft Festival is Sunday. All events officially begin at 10 a.m. at the Town Dock, Baxter Pond and lower Main Street. 

Admission is free and there will be free parking at the train station and Manorhaven Park. 

A juried craft show will feature approximately 100 quality craftspeople. The booths will be located along lower Main Street, near the Town Dock. 

Another attraction along Main Street is “Art In The Park” organized by The Art Guild. It features local artists displaying their work in Sunset Park, along the Manhasset Bay waterfront. They will also have a free Plein Air workshop for adults at 1:30 p.m. and a free clay workshop for children at 12 p.m. Button-making will be offered throughout the day.

The Chamber of Commerce booth and the Town of North Hempstead booth are located near the entrance at the Town Dock. Stop by for free reusable shopping bags for HarborFest purchases and future shopping. 

The 80’ schooner, SoundWaters, will return to Manhasset Bay for HarborFest. On Saturday, SoundWaters will depart the Town Dock for a sunset sail from 6-8 p.m. During HarborFest Dock Day, on Sunday, SoundWaters sails will be at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Reservations for all sails may be made online at harborfestcruises.eventbrite.com. The cost for the sunset sail is $35 per person, all ages. The cost for the Sunday dock day sails is $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 to 12. Please note that children under 5 should not participate in the cruises. Founded in 1989, SoundWaters aims to educate children and adults about the wonders and beauty of Long Island Sound and its watershed. 

Port Washington’s water taxi, the Charles II, will also be available to take people on cruises throughout HarborFest. LI Boat Rentals and the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society will run a few historical tours of the Bay. Atlantic Outfitters will offer kayaking for the more adventurous to get out on the Bay, and there will be paddleboarding demonstrations.

The Port Washington Fire Department will demonstrate its new fire boat at  the Town Dock. 

The North Fork Trolley will make a continuous loop offering free rides from the train station to the dock area.

Registration for the HarborFest Model Boat Regatta at Baxter Pond begins at 9:30 a.m. for Manorhaven and St. Peter’s, at 9:45 a.m. for Sousa and Daly and 10 a.m. for Guggenheim and Salem. Third graders from all elementary schools were taught by Chamber of Commerce volunteers how to make catamaran-style boats from recycled materials. Arlene Kase and Marian Weissman organized the classroom sessions, Bill Brakman and Mary Lu Dempsey put the boat kits together and Bill Palafox will organize the races. The regatta will take place at Baxter Pond from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 PM. 

The HarborFest Family Fun Park is organized by the Parent Resource Center. Children of all ages will be delighted with four fun-filled inflatables as well as crafts and carnival games in the Fun Tent. The Science Museum of Long Island will offer hands-on fun with a touch tank and other local organizations and businesses will have a dunk tank, games, sports activities and crafts so the kids will never get bored. 

The Fun Park also features free family entertainment all day on the Family Fun Stage. The children’s entertainment will kick off at 10:00AM with Mrs. Meltzer’s Kindergarten class saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” and singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful.” At 10:10 a.m., Port’s own Hannah Ericsson and Sophia Schleibeler will sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Then at 10:15 a.m., the much anticipated Talented Kids of Port Washington Show will begin. After the Talent Show, at 12:30 p.m., students from the Olga Berest Dance Studio will give a performance. At 2:00 p.m., iSchool of Music & Art and Bach 2 Rock will present “The Bands of HarborFest.” 

The unique HarborFest Treasure Hunt will be back with fabulous prizes from local merchants and special gifts for all. Children can go to participating businesses from May 20 to May 31 and say the “secret message” to get a voucher for a chance to find the lucky key to the Treasure Chest. (“One if by land, two if by sea, I’ll say ‘please’ for a chance for the key.”) They can bring their vouchers to the Treasure Hunt booth on the dock anytime from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Dock Day. 

On the Town Dock, there will be dozens of local merchants and organizations offering fine shopping and browsing, demonstrations, activities, give-aways, services and information. As always, a main attraction will be HarborFest’s Fabulous Food Court. Port’s finest restaurants and organizations will present their specialties to feed the hungry crowds. There will be delicious selections from Ayhan’s Shish Kebab, Gino’s Pizza Veloce, LI Festival Catering, Port Youth Activities, the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen’s Club, Rosie’s Food Truck, Ralph’s Italian Ices, Coffeed Sweet Comfort and treats from the Crazy Cakes Food Truck. Everyone in Port knows Mel’s Ice Cream truck. Look for Mel in Sunset Park, by the Art in the Park exhibits. Come hungry – you can feast all day at HarborFest!

HarborFest will showcase free live entertainment in front of the “Pride of Cow Bay” Tugboat Museum at the entrance to the Dock. The opening act at 10:15 a.m. will get everyone moving with a demonstration of “Insanity Workout” by the Training Station. HarborFest’s popular nautical singers, “Stout,” will return to perform their rousing melodies at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cast of the Red Stocking Revue will perform several fabulous encore selections from Port’s favorite variety show at 2 p.m. Martial Arts will take center stage with a World Taekwondo demonstration at 12 p.m. and a Shaolin Kung Fu demonstration at 1:30 p.m. 

The mission of HarborFest is to promote environmental awareness and the HarborFest Committee offers free booths to organizations that promote the environment. This year’s Enviro-Expo will have more booths than ever before. There will be fascinating new hands-on demonstrations, special displays about Manhasset Bay and up-to-date information and products. Grassroots Environmental Education has organized a timely environmental education project for elementary school students called “Birds in Port Washington.” Children will be taught how birds are an indicator of how clean our environment is.  As part of the environmental awareness  mission of HarborFest, the Town of North Hempstead Office of Sustainability will have a prominent booth near the dock entrance to give out reusable shopping bags and important information for all residents. 

HarborFest’s very own Port Hole Pete will be at the helm of the Pride of Cow Bay” Nautical Museum,” where a new exhibit, “Port Views” will be unveiled. The exhibit was curated by Debbie Greco and contains spectacular photos of the Port Washington waterfront by PortViews Photography. Don’t miss viewing this exhibit through the tugboat’s portholes. It will be on display for a year, beginning at HarborFest. You will see many familiar sights from a new perspective.

Admission to HarborFest is free. There is free parking and free shuttle buses and a trolley at the LIRR station and Manorhaven Park. For additional information about HarborFest, call the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce at (516) 883-6566, email office@pwcoc.org or visit pwcoc.org and pwguide.com or visit us on Facebook. 

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