Mamaroneck Harbor Fest 2011 is now one for the history books—and the record books. Unofficial estimates put the crowd at 25,000, surpassing last years’ attendance by 15,000. By all accounts, the day was a resounding success.
What started out as a picture-perfect day ended, well... perfectly. By midday, the blue skies turned grey, but the cloud cover reduced the heat and actually improved the already-superb weather conditions. Consequently, festival goers comfortably strolled the festival route from Halsted Avenue to Harbor Island.
Repeat vendors were joined by those marking their maiden voyage at Harbor Fest. Returnees Jason Gaer and Dan Lemire, co-owners of Chumley’s, were manning their very popular booth where the line for the pulled pork sandwiches was constant.
“This year is great,” remarked Lemire, the nicknamed chumley of Chumley’s.
“Last year was our first year here,” added Gaer. “We left early like many people did because there was a storm approaching. But this year has been great—a large crowd.”
After remarks from Mayor Norm Rosenblum, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, County Legislator Judy Meyers, Assemblyman George Latimer, Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keefe and Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, Cochair Jen Graziano Mangano and killer renditions of America the Beautiful and Home by Carly Rose Sonenclar, the 7th annual Harbor Fest got underway.
Along the festival route, children were enjoying games, food, giveaways, face painting and more at the Children’s Village, a section designated for their enjoyment. Also popular among children—and their parents—was the 80-foot-tall ship, SoundWaters. Three hours into the festival, Captain Justin Cathcart said SoundWaters had already greeted 600 visitors.
“I don’t think we’ll have any problems reaching 1,500 visitors once the day is done,” he said. Once on board, visitors were able to examine and hold various small aquatic creatures.
Lest you surmise that only children were having a blast a Harbor Fest, think again. For shoppers, there were vendors selling jewelry, clothing, chapeaus and more. Free back rubs were being offered by , and computerized spinal analyses were available. As during past Harbor Fests, organizations such as Visiting Nurse Service, White Plains Hospital Center, Bounce Back to Fitness, Mamaroneck’s volunteer EMS and New Rochelle Medical Center promoted health and wellness.
Music filled the air from early afternoon into the evening. Such musical acts as Island Magic, Mojo Monde, the brass-kicking sounds of Reunion and the Artie Tobia Band had festival goers dancing in the streets. Elvis impersonator Patrick Perone brought back memories of The King and smiles from the crowd.
Rosenblum and Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro were enjoying the music from Reunion.
“The Village of Mamaroneck is America at its best,” said Rosenblum. “This country is based on the strength of volunteerism, and that is what this day is all about. Every year, the business owners and residents of the village help to make Harbor Fest what it is. Thank you to everyone who was involved.”
Hats off to cochairs Jen Graziano Mangano and Len Verrastro and their team of volunteers! Just 364 days and counting until they work their magic again.