Southampton will kick off the fall season with its annual SeptemberFest taking over the village this weekend, from Friday, September 26 through Sunday, September 28.
Now in its fourth year, the three-day festival promises to be bigger than ever, with more art and food vendors expected on Sunday and events scheduled throughout the village on Saturday.
The event is a consolidated effort by several groups designed to showcase local art and talent while extending the tourist season into the fall. This year, organizers say they are determined to bring as much business to the village as possible. They expect over more than 4,000 people to attend.
“It is a collaboration of many organizations that are all part of the arts district for Southampton Village,” the executive director of the Southampton Cultural Center, Kristen Lonnie, said. “There is no other event of that nature out here. Everybody starts planning the event in January and everybody participates and supports the event.”
According to Ms. Lonnie, SeptemberFest originally started as a way to showcase local musicians through several weekends of performances. She said that was a good starting point, but that it did not do what the village was looking for, so organizers consolidated the event into a one-day harvest festival. The festival grew until last year when a third day was added, with much success. Organizers of the festival include Southampton Village, the Rogers Memorial Library, the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, the Southampton Cultural Center, the Southampton Historical Museum and the Southampton Rotary.
The weekend will launch on Friday night with the annual Rotary-sponsored kickoff party at Agawam Park. The event, which will last from 6:30 to 10 p.m., will feature craft beer and wine until 8 p.m., followed by a cash bar. There will also be food trucks from Paul’s Italian Restaurant, The Inn Spot and Aunt Dorine’s Clam Bar, and the band New Life Crisis will be taking the stage. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door.
On Saturday, several old favorites will be returning, including a farmers market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center grounds on Jobs Lane; the Harvest Day Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southampton Historical Museum; and Art Vendors in the Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers from noon to 5 p.m., both in Agawam Park.
On both days, along with continuing the Art in the Park, the festival will include the Taste of the East End event from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, where participants will be able to sample food and drinks from Boa Thai Asian Fusion, Crabman Crabcakes, Gloria Cannon Soul Food, the Golden Pear Cafe, North Fork Food Works, Noah’s on the Road, Pure Cool Water, Shuckers, the Southampton Publick House, the Southampton Social Club and the Inn Spot Out.
“I always like the Maniac Pumpkin Carvers,” Village Mayor Mark Epley said of the weekend, noting that it is a festival for the entire family. “That was something that my kids and I always did, carve pumpkins. We would try out different designs on the pumpkins, so to watch these guys who came in and are so well known now, it is always something I enjoy to watch.”
There will also be several new events this year. At 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, the village will host a dedication service for the newly operational Lake Agawam Ferry, which honors the life of former slave and local entrepreneur Pyrrhus Concer.
SeptemberFest will be ongoing all weekend. The complete schedule and more information are available online at Southamptonseptfest.org.
“My favorite part is when I get a bit of time to walk around the village and see how everyone is enjoying themselves,” Ms. Lonnie said. “Whether it is the kids on Jobs Lane or the dancing in the park, or just people loaded down with shopping bags, we know it will be successful.”