Columbus Day Weekend Activities

A moment between dog and owner during the ARF Stroll to the Sea last year. Durell Godfrey

Columbus Day weekend will be a jam-packed three days on the South Fork. The Hamptons International Film Festival will bring a slew of activities, mainly to East Hampton and Sag Harbor, but there's plenty else to do if you don't feel liking taking in a flick.

First, there's the Montauk Fall Festival, now in its 33rd year. On Saturday and Sunday, the Montauk Green will be the hub of activities, including the carousel, pony rides, pumpkin decorating, inflatable rides, and crab races. Sponsored by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, there's plenty for adults too. Live music by Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks takes place on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. There will also be Oktoberfest style food, clams and oysters, and Long Island wines and beer, as well as raffles.

A clam chowder contest will also be held on Saturday, with delicious chowders from local restaurants available starting at 11 a.m. until they're all gone. Awards will be presented for the best New England and Manhattan chowders, judged by local food personalities. Tasters in the crowd may also vote on a People's Choice Award. Winners will be announced on the chamber's Facebook page and on the chamber's website on Saturday at 3 p.m.

On Saturday night, Grucci will put on a fireworks display at Umbrella Beach at 7 p.m. There will be a fireworks tribute to the Montauk Fire Department, which is celebrating its 75th year. Speaking of the big anniversary, the Department will hold various events this weekend, too, starting with a parade that will run down Main Street at noon on Saturday. The procession will end at Lions Field. Antique firetrucks will be on display from 1 to 4 p.m.

On Sunday, firemen will serve up flapjacks at the firehouse during an open house from 9 a.m. to noon. It will benefit the Senior Citizen Christmas party.

The fall festival continues Sunday, with the highlight being a 4:30 p.m. drawing for the chamber's annual Cash Catch, where up to $20,000 in prizes will be awarded.

The Hampton Jitney will offer free rides between Southampton and Montauk, including stops at all hamlets in between on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required. A free bus shuttle will be available from the center of Montauk to the Lighthouse, the harbor, and the Long Island Rail Road station, throughout the weekend, thanks to a grant to the Long Island Wine Council from New York State's Empire State Development Corp and the I Love New York Division of Tourism.

If the film festival doesn't draw you to East Hampton, perhaps your dog will. The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is holding its 21st annual Stroll to the Sea dog walk on Saturday starting at Mulford Farm on James Lane at 9 a.m. Dogs and their owners will make the two-mile walk to the ocean, and then reconvene at the farm, where there will be free nail clippings for dogs, contests, and treats. Pre-registration is $30, or $35 on the day of the walk.


The Bridgehampton Museum will welcome cars to participate in the 21st annual road rally on Saturday. This year, age restrictions have been lifted to acknowledge the racing heritage at "The Bridge," so registered cars of any age with known racing histories may participate for $100, organizers said. The rally goes on rain or shine. Teams must register in advance by calling or emailing the museum. The gates open on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Museum at 9 a.m. for pre-registered exhibitors and rally teams. At 11 a.m., participants will take several parade laps over the four-mile circuit, which was first plotted in 1949 on winding lanes through nearby farms. They will return to the Corwith House for a poker rally at noon.

Also in Bridgehampton, the 16th annual celebration of the Long Pond Greenbelt will take place Saturday on the South Fork Natural History Museum. This free event for the entire family happens from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, so no worries there. At 10:30 a.m., John Turner, a naturalist and birder, will lead a 2.5-mile hike. At 11 a.m., Chris Chapin will lead a half-mile search for reptiles. The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is taking some of its animals, and guests also get to meet the "goat brigade," which will be munching on invasive plants in Vineyard Field. There will also be crafts and games with some help from the Children's Museum of the East End, the Peconic Land Trust, Defend H20, and Hampton Library. A free lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m., and Joe and Liza's Ice Cream out of Sag Harbor will serve up free scoops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., while supplies last.

Sag Harbor

Over in Sag Harbor, it's a Whale of a Sale -- the annual sidewalk fair, that is. Sag Harbor shops that are part of the Chamber of Commerce will offer great values on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


If you're in the mood to volunteer, there's a trash pick-up scheduled at the Amagansett train station, off Montauk Highway, on Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dell Cullum, who is on a mission to clean up garbage throughout town, has organized the cleanup, and members of the Amagansett Chamber of Commerce and Amagansett Village Improvement Society are joining in. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided.

On Sunday, a car show will be held at the American Legion in Amagansett from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in memory of Tyler Valcich, a 20-year-old who died in June. There will be music and food. Cars and trucks may enter for $20, and may register in advance by emailing, those who have come to see these classics get in with a $5 entrance fee. Kids enter free.

Also on Sunday, the Amagansett Fire Department will hold its annual firehouse open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The community is invited to the firehouse on Main Street to see demonstrations, such as a live burn and how firefighters extricate someone from a vehicle. Hot dogs and sodas will be served.

Janis Hewitt
Janis Hewitt