Thousands enjoy Manhasset Bay at Harborfest

Thousands enjoy Manhasset Bay at Harborfest
Thousands gathered to enjoy Harborfest 2023. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

On a cloudy Sunday, thousands of people gathered along Lower Main Street and the Manhasset Harbor to explore craft vendors, indulge in local eateries and celebrate the town’s bay for Harborfest.

Harborfest is a Port Washington Festival that salutes the town’s nautical heritage and environmental preservation of the harbor, hosted by the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce and the Town of North Hempstead.

Chamber member Leslie Ann Jacobi said the festival was started in 1991 to save the Manhasset Bay and raise environmental awareness about the harbor.

The festival is also one of the chamber’s fund-raising events to cover the organization’s costs for the rest of the year, Jacobi said.

The festival featured a variety of craft vendors, live entertainment, cruises in the bay, games, fire boat demonstrations and much more along the town dock, Manhasset Bay and Lower Main Street.

The craft fair included dozens of local craft vendors selling a variety of products from crocheted stuffed animals to handmade pottery.

Eileen Supran, owner of Luv on the Shells, participated in her first Harborfest selling her hand-painted clam shells.

Eileen Supran’s hand-painted clam shells. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

Supran scours the South Shore beaches for large clam shells that she turns into one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Her products can be used for many purposes, such as a decorative piece or a jewelry dish.

She said that she loved her first time participating in the festival because of its distinct offering of a craft fair to support local artisans. She said it offers her a way to sell her art in person as she values the aspects of connecting with her customers.

“I love speaking to people and helping them find the right shell for them to buy,” Supran said. “That’s what it’s about.”

Luv on the Shells was one of the craft vendors featured in Harborfest’s craft fair. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

Along the town harbor, the festival featured dozens of local organizations for spectators to engage with and learn more about the Port Washington community, as well as live performances and a food court.

Bach to Rock played live music along the harbor, featuring local artists like band No Limits, starring bassist Leo Raber, 12, guitarist Ryan Messinger, 13, and drummer Sami Sanghrajka, 13.

No Limits performed covers of famous rock songs, including “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The band members said it was a cool experience performing at Harborfest.

Other performances included a taekwondo display of students from World Taekwondo Academy in Port Washington.

Students from World Taekwondo Academy perform. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The food court offered a “taste of Port Washington” for attendees to experience throughout the day. Food vendors included Ivory Kitchen, specializing in Chinese cuisine, and Ayhans Shish Kebab Restaurant. Attendees also enjoyed lobster rolls, grilled cheeses, grilled sweet corn and empanadas.

The annual, daylong festival came to a conclusion that evening, and chamber member Mitch Schwartz said planning for next year’s festival will begin in the fall.

Schwartz said the festival is an important event not just for the Chamber of Commerce, but also the community.

“It brings the town together, it’s a fund-raiser for us and it provides fun for the kids,” Schwartz said.

“And it brings everyone to our beautiful bay,” Jacobi said.

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