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Feb 18, 2019 1:15 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Ice, Cameras, Action: Sag Harbor Celebrates 'Harborfrost' On Saturday

Last years Harborfrost.   Michael Heller
Feb 19, 2019 12:17 PM

What to do when folks would rather heat up a third cup of tea than leave the comfort of home on a Saturday during the dreary winter months?

The creative team at the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce conceived a unique concept nine years ago that continues to this day: Harborfrost.

This year’s Harborfrost, a celebration of winter that will take place in Sag Harbor Village on Saturday, February 23, from 1 to 6 p.m., will highlight two extreme elements—fire and ice.

The day will feature ice carving demonstrations, ice sculptures, live music performances and children’s activities along Main Street, as visitors are encouraged to spend the day shopping and dining in Sag Harbor.

“There’s always a great turnout, but we hope to get more people involved in the Frosty Plunge this year,” said Lisa Field, president of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, and owner of the Sag Harbor Variety Store, on Friday. She said an average of 50 or so people jump in the cold water at Windmill Beach each year, and that, sometimes, “those who don’t wish to freeze their tushes off in the water donate the $20 participation fee anyway.” The money raised from the plunge goes directly to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance.

Sign-up “for those brave enough to jump into the cold water” will take place at the windmill at 1 p.m.

A culinary stroll begins at 11:30 a.m., with registration at Il Cappuccino Restaurant on Main Street. “We hope everyone will take advantage of the restaurants in town,” Ms. Field said, adding that specials will be available in conjunction with Harborfrost.

For kids, there will be free glitter tattoos at the Wharf Shop from noon to 3 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce will host an event for kids, with various stands and activities, at Dodds and Eder from 2 to 5 p.m. Children can meet and greet Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” at Sag Harbor Variety at 2:30 p.m. Free face painting will be offered at Stella and Ruby from 2 to 4 p.m.

John Jermain Library will offer a hot cocoa station, photo booth and various activities from 1 to 4 p.m. People of all ages can enjoy live music by Alfredo Merat at LuLu’s at 2 p.m.

Ice sculptors will decorate Sag Harbor with their carvings beginning at 2 p.m. Each year, there is an ice sculpture theme. “I don’t want to ruin the theme. It’s a surprise,” Ms. Field said, adding, “People love to get their pictures taken with the sculptures.”

Keith Leaf the Amazing Fire Juggler will perform at the windmill at 3 p.m. and there will be live music by Jake Lear at Buddhaberry at 4 p.m. At 5:30, the Fiery Sensations Fire Dancers will heat things up on the Long Wharf, right before the grand finale, fireworks by Grucci over the harbor at 6:15 p.m.

“It’s unique. No one does fireworks in the wintertime,” Ms. Field said. “You’re able to see the fireworks reflection in the water, and there are no boats on the harbor.”

Ms. Field admitted that when the idea for Harborfrost came about, she thought it was crazy and that no one would come out in the middle of February.

“Each year we had a great turnout … with more and more people enjoying the event,” she said, however. “It’s a good boost for the businesses—plus it’s a lot of fun.

“It’s a great opportunity to spend the day outside,” she continued. “No other town offers a winter festival.”

The first Harborfrost endured a rainy day. In the past, the weather has ranged from a high of 60 degrees, to snow piling up along Main Street.

“One year, the Frosty Plunge had to be stopped because there was ice floating on top of the water,” Ms. Field said.

Luckily, this year she suspects the air temperature will be around 40 degrees. “Whatever the weather, we’ll make the best of it,” she promised.

“It’s Sag Harbor’s way of saying ‘We are here. We are open,’” Ms. Field stressed about the annual event. “Bundle up, and take advantage of what Sag Harbor has to offer.”

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Winter 2018/2019 has been lousy for east end winter sports, hopefully it gets cold and snowy soon : )
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Feb 18, 19 4:26 PM