Our son, Dan, lives in an apartment in Astoria, Queens, most of the week while attending grad school at Hunter College. “It looks a lot more like fall in Montauk this week, than it did last week,” he said. “This week the leaves are really starting to turn color.” Seasonal changes are more obvious to him because he’s away for a few days each week. For the rest of us it’s a gradual shift.Sunday was overcast with intermittent rain and fog. Montauk kids, it was announced at church, could still participate in Field Day at Third House at Theodore Roosevelt County Park, despite inclement weather. I heard some small gals at church say they planned to aim a pie or two at Montauk School Principal Jack Perna at one popular Field Day activity.
The Montauk Chamber of Commerce has been tirelessly working to bring us the 32nd annual Fall Festival, this weekend, October 12 and 13, on the green in downtown Montauk. The family friendly festival kicks off 11 a.m. on Saturday with the wildly popular Clam Chowder Contest. More than 30 local restaurants contribute gallons of their best chowder. Food judges decide the best New England and Manhattan chowders. Festival attendees can also judge this contest in the People’s Choice Award. Winners are announced 3 p.m., Saturday, on the chamber’s Facebook page and will be posted at www.montaukchamber.com.
Both days include many activities for children: inflatable rides, face painting, pumpkin decorating, crab races, a carousel and more.
For adults there’s live music by The Blue Collar Band on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., along with raffles, delicious Octoberfest food, and clams and oysters. Long Island wines and beer will be available. The farmers market is there both Saturday and Sunday during the festival, with a bounty of harvest produce and gourmet food items.
When darkness falls, Saturday evening at 7 p.m, Grucci Fireworks light up the sky at Umbrella Beach. Big thanks to all the local businesses who pulled together as sponsors, including donors at the Platinum Level, Dune Resorts and Oceanside Beach Resort; and at the Gold Level, 668 Gig Shack, Mickey’s Carting, Mickey’s Montauk Mowing, Montauk Breakers Motel, Montauk Manor, Solé East and The Point Bar & Grill. Donors at Silver and Bronze levels are listed at www.montaukchamber.com. Rain date for the fireworks is Sunday, October 13.
Sunday, festivities continue with more activities under the big tent on the village green and live music by the 3 B’s from noon to 3 p.m.
A Chinese Auction, hosted by the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation, takes place under the tent, Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The auction features dozens of fantastic prizes donated by local businesses and individuals, including electronics, sporting equipment, artwork, jewelry, gift baskets and gift certificates for local services, restaurants, hotels and spas. Auction raffle tickets are just $1 per chance and available for advance purchase on the green, Saturday, October 12. This popular annual event also features a treat table with popcorn, cotton candy and more. All proceeds benefit the MPCCF’s fundraising campaign to construct an aquatic center at Montauk Playhouse Community Center. This week MPCCF seeks donated items, services or gift certificates for the auction. Please phone event chair Jennie Balcuns at 668-3381 or email email@example.com to make a donation.
Rounding off the weekend, the chamber’s annual Cash Catch drawing is held 4:30 p.m., Sunday, with cash prizes up to $20,000. Purchase tickets on the chamber website using paypal or call the chamber office at 668-2428. Proceeds of this raffle benefit chamber programs.
New to the festival for this year is free transportation. Visitors from neighboring towns can leave their cars at home. Buses will be provided by Hampton Jitney from Southampton to Montauk, and points between. Please visit the chamber’s website at www.montaukchamber.com for schedules and then call 283-4600 to make reservations.
Further alleviating traffic congestion, there will also be a free continuous shuttle loop operating between downtown Montauk, the lighthouse, Montauk Harbor and the Long Island rail road station for the weekend.
The Fall Festival is the major annual fundraiser to benefit the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit organization. In turn, the chamber makes donations to organizations such as the Montauk Food Pantry, the July 4th and Fall Fireworks Fund and the Frank Cappozola Scholarship Fund, as well as to other local not-for-profit organizations.
Please visit the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for updates on the Festival.
You can help Montauk Youth Inc. and the Montauk Village Association decorate downtown Montauk for the festival and the autumn season again with fun and fanciful scarecrows. All are welcome to participate, including families, businesses, school classes, scout groups, anyone who wants to display their creative flair. Participants can pick up a scarecrow frame along with their own scarecrow location assignment at CinemaCycle at Montauk Movie (668-2393) or Keeshan Real Estate (668-2000). Frames were also given out at Sunday’s Field Day. Decorate, then install your finished scarecrow at your assigned location. Please keep the scarecrows family-friendly and non-controversial. The plan is to have scarecrows installed in time for the festival, by this Friday, October 11. Scarecrows will be judged and winners announced in late October. Scarecrows stay up until November 2. Be sure to check them out!
Many thanks to Riverhead Building Supply for donating and cutting wood for the scarecrow frames and Gurney’s Inn for printing the fliers you’ll see around town.
Also this weekend, the Women’s Guild of Montauk Community Church will hold a Rummage Sale on Saturday, October 12, from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. You’ll find clothing for your family, household goods, linens, baby items, toys, white elephant and much more. Donations can be left in the shed in back of the church; please, no heavy furniture or big TVs.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, Story Times with Miss K at Montauk Library are now at a new time, 11:45 a.m. on Mondays.
Tween and Teen Read Week Celebration comes your way at the library, Saturday, October 19, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., for grades three through 12. Play games and make Lego creations. Older students are invited to discuss the books they are currently reading. Visitors and walk-ins welcome and all children’s programs at the Montauk Library are free.
October’s book selection for the library discussion group is “ The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides and is available at the circulation desk. All who love reading are invited to join the discussion, which takes place on Sunday, October 20, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The library will be closed on Monday, October 14, in observance of Columbus Day.