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East End Merry Merfolk To March Through Greenport During Maritime Festival Parade

Nicole Barylski

There will be a costume contest and presentation of awards following the parade. (Courtesy Photo)

The beloved Merry Merfolk Parade will launch East End Seaport Museum's 30th Annual East End Maritime Festival programming on Saturday, September 21.

Held in support of Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program's (CCE) Back to the Bays Initiative, merfolk, including sea creatures, mermaids and pirates, of all ages are invited to join CCE and Sirens' Song Gallery for the merry march, which steps off from Broad Street in Greenport at 11 a.m.

"We'll once again be offering an opportunity to march in support of our bays at the Merry Merfolk Parade!" Kimberly Barbour, Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program Outreach Manager, explained. "The event provides an opportunity for both kids and adults to have some fun dressing like their favorite sea creature, realistic or whimsical, while bringing attention to the importance of our marine environment and the work of Cornell Coopertive Extension Marine Program."

Open to all, the festive affair will wind through the Village of Greenport and culminate with an award ceremony at Mitchell Park, with tributes for the best costume in a myriad of categories.

The many whimsical Merfolk will be joined by an eye-catching new feature. "New this year our Mermaid Queen will lead the parade in a specially designed float," Barbour noted.

The seaworthy ride will no doubt impress the crowd. "The East End Seaport Museum has generously provided us with a wooden dory that has been transformed into a 'Mer Float' thanks to the talents of local artist Caroline Waloski, numerous volunteers, and support from the Greenport BID and North Fork Promotional Council," Barbour explained. "Look out for it during the parade, and as always all participants and spectators are welcome to join us immediately following the parade in Mitchell Park for the annual costume contest and presentation of awards for Best Mermaid/Man, Best Realistic Sea Creature, and Best Whimsical Sea Creature, among other categories."

In addition to providing an amusing start to the Festival, the Parade raises awareness for Cornell Cooperative Extension's Back to the Bays Initiative, which aims to get the community more involved in integral projects like water quality protection initiatives, habitat improvement projects, shellfish and finfish research and restoration and more. CCE will be selling commemorative mugs, available online and at the event, that support CCE's Back to the Bays Initiative.

Parade participation is limited to 60 merfold, so make sure to register in advance.

The 30th annual East End Maritime Festival will take place from Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22. On Friday, there will be a Land & Sea Gala, while the Festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

To register, visit www.eventbrite.com. For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program, visit ccesuffolk.org. For more information about the East End Maritime Festival, visit www.eastendseaport.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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