Seafood festival returns

Local museum expects thousands in attendance

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The Long Island Maritime Museum’s 29th annual Seafood Festival will be held this Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is expected to bring in over 15,000 people from all across Long Island.

Free parking is available at the Baymen Soccer Field, located at 165 Tariff Street, West Sayville, and a gratis shuttle bus will be on constant runs between the lot, the Sayville Long Island Rail Road station, and the museum. Only handicapped and vendor parking is available at the museum.

There will be over a dozen musical acts over the weekend, ranging from Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac tribute bands like Gypsy, who has lead singer Diane Lutz capturing Stevie in all her witchery wonder; to Beyond Fab, who will showcase Beatles music; and acoustic sets from Rick Eberle, a favorite personality on grunge-genuflecting station 94.3.

While listening to the bands, you can have local seafood from Claws and Blue Island Oyster in the west and east pavilions, respectively.

Roasted corn, gourmet desserts, ice cream, pretzels, and popcorn will also be on hand for those who want the full carnival feel with their meal.

Over 60 arts and crafts vendors will be in attendance, with boutique and bespoke items for sale that will be perfect as gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Children can look forward to face painting and a treasure hunt and pirate show from the Pirate Brotherhood, who will be dressed in full marauding maritime costume.

With swashbuckling tales, they will give a live presentation of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” for young ones to sing along with and search for treasure.

The origins of the Seafood Festival are not fully known, but executive director Terry Lister-Blitman believes it started as a board initiative for fundraising and grew larger each year, until it became the widespread event it is known to be today.

“I think someone must’ve said, ‘We’re a maritime institution, let’s have a festival with fresh seafood, arts, and crafts, etc.,’ and it just grew into the explosion we know today.”

The museum’s 1888 oyster sloop, the Priscilla, will be docked in the basin and open for interior tours and historical lessons, but will not be sailing the festival weekend.

Her dimensions are 60 feet in length overall, 40 feet on deck, with a 14-foot beam and 4-foot 3-inch draft. In 2006, Priscilla was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

With the weather predicted to be a perfect, cool summer breeze with sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s/lower 80s, it’s the perfect way to end the season before school starts.

(Fido will have to sit this one out, as pets and coolers are not allowed at the Seafood Festival).

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