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Harbor Fest Celebrated in Sag Harbor

Originally Posted: September 17, 2004

Debbie Tuma

Whaleboats were back in fashion last weekend in Sag Harbor, where mobs of tourists gathered on Long Wharf to watch these boats racing during the annual "Harborfest" weekend celebration. Taking advantage of the glorious September weather, crowds packed the dock, and also enjoyed a variety of seafood-related festivities, from clam shucking contests to a food-fest sampling of local fish and chips, a raw bar, clam chowder tastings, and also a sampling of wines from local vineyards.

The "Harborfest," organized by a committee and the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce each year, also included readings of Moby Dick at the John Jermain Library, historic tours of the village, including the cemetary, boat-building exhibitions, antiques appraisals, harbor cruises, a fishng contest, a farmer's market of fresh produce, a Sunfish Regatta, a fire department pancake breakfast, a Community Band concert, a cocktail party at the Breakwater Yacht Club, a seafood picnic at the Whaling Museum, and tours of the Eastville community, with food samplings as well.

Suffolk City Legislator Jay Schneiderman, his son Reuben,
and Captain Karl Grossman

Bryan Boyan, who organized this event with the Harborfest Steering Committee, said it was successful as ever this year, with the perfect weather bringing so many people outside.

A rather somber part of the festival, since this year it occurred on the third anniversary of 9/11, was a special dedication of 351 acres of state parkland, in Barcelona Neck, in memory of Sag Harbor's native Linda Gronlund. Gronlund, 46, was one of 40 passengers killed aboard United Airlines Flight 93, when it crashed in Shanksville, PA. Over 100 people gathered at the Sag Harbor Golf Club, where state and local officials unveiled a large sign, naming the "Linda Gronlund Memorial Nature Preserve."

Doris Gronlund, former owner of Saga-Lund sportswear company of Sag Harbor, described her daughter, who had a black belt in karate, as "feisty and confidant." She said she believed her daughter "would have fought off the terrorists to try and save other lives." Linda Gronlund, an environmental attorney for BMW North America, also loved race car driving at the former track in Bridgahmpton, sailing and scuba diving.

Doris Gronlund and Else Gronlund-Strong

"It's very fitting that this park be named in her honor, since my sister loved nature, and spent many times walking through these trails," said Linda Gronlund's sister, Else Grondlund Strong, of New Hampshire. She and her mother were given flags flown over the state and national capitals.

The idea for this park dedication came from NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor, who attended school with Linda Gronlund from Pierson High School, through Southampton College. Congressman Tim Bishop, who formerly worked in the college admissions department with Linda Gronlund, also remembered her as " a star and a leader," as an honor student and a person involved in many activities.

Renowned portrait artist Antonio Ciccone, who lived and worked for over 10 years in Southampton, during the 1970's and 80's, when he exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum, the Benson Gallery and Gallery East, has just completed a 10-year body of work called "The Lydia Series," which went on exhibit this week at the Forbes Gallery in Manhattan. Ciccone is a long-time friend of the Forbes family, since he was first discovered by Malcolm Forbes at the age of 21, when he painted Forbe's own portrait which hangs in the gallery today.

Robert Forbes, wife Lydia Forbes, and Antonio Ciccone

"The Lydia Series" is 26 life-size charcoal drawings of Lydia Forbes, wife of Robert Forbes, who is Malcom's son, and President of Forbes FYI and Forbes Global division. Some of these drawings also include Robert Forbes and their son, Miguel. The Forbes family flew to Florence, Italy, where Ciccone now lives and works, and where they posed for the series.

"We're happy to continue this long friendship with this great artist, Antonio Ciccone, and we invite the public to come see this exhibition of our family at our gallery," said Robert Forbes. The show continues through October 9.

Also at the opening reception, which included food donated by the Italian Trade Commission, was actress Dixie Carter, and her actor husband Hal Holbrook. "I came here to greet Antonio, because he also did several lovely portraits of me, about 30 years ago, which I still have in my home," said Carter, of "Designing Women" fame. She and her husband flew to New York from their home in L.A., also for the opening of her new show at the Carlysle Hotel this Friday night. Also on hand at this opening were famous documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, renowned Peruvian painter Humberto Aquino, and concert pianist Andrew Worgo, who is also the former assistant to Pierre Cardin.

Suzi Teitelman and Sheryl Matthys, founder of "Leashes
and Lovers"

All the dogs and their owners were out at the Bridgehampton Community House last Sunday afternoon, for a glorious day of fun dog events called, "Wine and Biscuits," organized by "Leashes and Lovers," a Manhattan group which brings single dog lovers together. About 100 people and their various dogs of all sizes enjoyed sampling all kinds of dog snacks donated by Buttercup's Paw-tisserie and Teddy's Dog Treats, bidding on a great silent auction of over 80 items for dogs and their owners, and watching a hilarious dog fashion show on the stage.

This great day benefited two dog-related groups--Elsa's Ark in the Hamptons, which rescues and adopts out needy and abandoned animals, and NYSAVE, a NYC-based group which provides life-saving funds for emergency vet care of pets owned by low-income people. Sponsors of this event were Hamptonsview.com, Merial, and Modern Dog Magazine. There was even a "Look like your dog" contest, and music by "Pet-Rox" and Murray Weinstock of "DogTunes".

This unusual event attracted many people and raised funds for good causes. The dogs had a great time trying on clothes and eating snacks.

All rockers take note that a never before-released movie is opening this weekend at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, called, "Festival Express." It is R-rated, and features never-seen footage of rock performers including Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and The Band, as well as others. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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