32nd annual Harborfest returns with new Saturday night concert

32nd annual Harborfest returns with new Saturday night concert
Thousands gathered to enjoy Harborfest 2023. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

Harborfest is returning to celebrate Port Washington and its waterfront, promising the offerings community members have enjoyed for decades and additions of new fun and festivities for all.

Harborfest – hosted by the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce and the Town of North Hempstead – is a festival that Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bobbie Polay said started as a week of environmental awareness with lectures that evolved into the festival it is today.

Over the years, Polay said the event has taken on a life of its own.

For the first time in its history, Harborfest will stretch over two days from June 1 to June 2 with a new Saturday night concert at the Sousa Memorial Band Shell. The Tiberius Band will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. for a free concert for all.

The 32nd annual HarborFest Dock Day and Craft Festival will kick off June 1 with the Saturday night concert and the main festivities will be held June 2 beginning at 10 a.m. on the town dock and lower Main Street.

Despite its evolution, Polay said the event is still based on its environmentalist origins. Its motto still stands true through the years: Today is the day to save the day.

When the event began, Polay said the harbor’s environment was declining and the event was intended to raise awareness for its preservation and maintenance. Over the years, this has occurred as hoped due to the contributions of organizations, Polay said.

“But we still feel the need to let people know how important it is to protect this very precious asset that we have,” Polay said.

With an emphasis on environmental preservation, Polay said Harborfest is also a showcase for Port Washington that provides the community another way to appreciate their local environment. In its display of the environment local organizations, businesses and crafters are prominently featured.

“We’re just hoping to give all of the local organizations and businesses an opportunity to meet residents and meet people from other areas and let them know what they have to offer,” Polay said.

Harborfest festivities include a model boat race for third graders at Baxter Pond, a craft fair with more than 85 vendors from across the tri-state, “Art in the Park” art classes in Sunset Park, Eric Titcomb’s photography exhibit “Birds of Manhasset Bay,” yacht sunset cruises and various food vendors and live performances.

Featured at the food court is a series of local restaurants serving a variety of cuisines and sweet treats. Included are Ayhan’s Shish Kebab, Bosphorus, Ikedo Ramen, LI Festival Catering, the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen’s Club, Mesita, PYA, Rosie’s Food Truck, The Wild Goose, Yummy Gyro, Ralph’s Italian Ices, Smusht and Mel’s Ice Cream Truck.

Live entertainment will be displayed on two stages: in front of the “Pride of Cow Bay” Tugboat Museum at the entrance to the Dock and the Sousa Memorial Band Shell.

Nautical-themed Harborfest shirts will be available for purchase, which display a design by Richie Garofalo of Anthony’s World of Floors. Attendees can purchase these at the Chamber of Commerce booth by the town dock entrance.

In tandem with a purchase of a shirt is a free, royal blue reusable tote bag with the Harbofest logo courtesy of Bayside Tax & Wealth.

Harborfest is free to attend and free parking will be provided at the Long Island Rail Road train station and Manorhaven Park. Shuttle buses will be provided to transport people between Harborfest and the parking areas.

For additional information about HarborFest, individuals can call the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce at (516) 883-6566, email [email protected], visit pwcoc.org or visit us on Facebook.

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