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Sep 17, 2019 1:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

SouthamptonFest Returns For Ninth Year To Highlight Village Community

SouthamptonFest 2018. PRESS FILE
Sep 17, 2019 2:53 PM

Southampton Village’s biggest festival will take over the streets this weekend to help ring in the fall.

From Friday evening through Sunday, SouthamptonFest is returning for its ninth year, with a schedule full of street food, art, sidewalk sales, live music and activities for all ages.

Festivities will be held at Agawam Park, Jobs Lane, the Southampton History Museum and the Southampton Arts Center throughout the weekend. The event will begin on Friday night with a Rotary Club Cocktail Party in Agawam Park, to benefit the club’s scholarship fund, and will feature live local music, food trucks, wine and craft beer.

“As we always say, SouthamptonFest serves a number of purposes. It’s to bring more vibrancy and vitality to our downtown business district during what is the start of the shoulder season, and also to highlight our arts organizations and our arts district,” said Julie Fitzgerald, the village’s assistant to the mayor. “But the main thing is, it’s a real community event.”

On Saturday, Jobs Lane will be closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and turned into a pedestrian-only zone, featuring a farmers market with jewelry and craft vendors, food and beverage tables, circus acts including jugglers and stilt walkers, live bands, DJs, and dancing.

Last year, the village closed off a section of Main Street, but organizers felt that closing Jobs Lane would improve movement between locations, according to Sharon Wood, the administrative assistant at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce. “It’ll flow right into the park and make a really nice atmosphere,” she said.

Thirteen local restaurants are participating in the popular chowder contest at noon on Saturday in Agawam Park, and guests can vote for their favorite of the 16 chowders available for tasting. The park will also have a “Taste of the East End” full of food vendor tents and food trucks, as well as community and arts booths, fire and emergency services safety demonstrations, and a Rogers Memorial Library pop-up.

The Southampton History Museum is hosting a Harvest Day Fair on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that will celebrate life during the 19th century. It will include outdoor crafts, farm animals, tool-making demonstrations, Shinnecock Indian Nation dancing, a thrift shop and an 1850 wedding reenactment.

The lawn of the Southampton Arts Center will become an interactive “Kids Zone” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with pumpkin decorating, face painting, musical chairs, rock concerts and art projects. New this year are therapy puppies from Party Pups that will perform agility shows and be available for “cuddle time” with the kids.

Inside the center, an art exhibit titled “Paint Your World” will be open to the public that showcases the work of artist Michael Paraskevas, who is best known for creating the popular children’s show “Maggie and the Ferocious Beast.” An opening reception is being held on Saturday night from 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday will close out with a bang as visitors groove to music — through their headsets — at the Silent Disco Outdoor Dance Party from 8 to 11 p.m. at the arts center.

On Sunday, the festivities will continue at Agawam Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with more music, kids’ games, and food and community booths. Children can meet animals from the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center and engage in craft projects with Southampton Montessori School volunteers.

“Music is always a huge part of it, and we’re so lucky on the East End that there’s such amazing musicians out here,” Ms. Fitzgerald said. “So we try to kind of rotate it each year so that we can bring in as many people as possible.”

Acts this year include Sturdy Souls, Lynn Blue Band, Southbound Band, NiteWork, Liam Meaney, Andrew Weiss & Friends, and Certain Moves, among others.

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