HarborFrost 2023: A Day of Winter Wonder Awaits in Sag Harbor

Fireworks from the world-famous Grucci family explode spectacularly over Long Wharf during HarborFrost
Fireworks from the world-famous Grucci family explode spectacularly over Long Wharf during HarborFrost
Michael Heller

Summer on the East End includes many exciting events to look forward to, such as the Hampton Classic, the Dan’s Taste Summer Series and HarborFest. In the winter, we eagerly await the HarborFrost festival, coming to Sag Harbor this weekend.

“For anyone looking for something to do on the East End in February, HarborFrost is the ultimate answer, and a perfect celebration of winter in beautiful Sag Harbor Village,” Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Ellen Dioguardi says. “All our member businesses will be open and ready to serve with great food, drinks, shopping and fun for the whole family.”

This year, festivities kick off Friday night, 6–8 p.m. on February 3, with the Taste of Sag Harbor party at Sag Harbor Cinema’s Green Room bar (90 Main Street), featuring a curated menu of the village’s most popular eateries: Lulu Kitchen & Bar, The Corner Bar, K Pasa, Sen, Il Capuccino, Dopo La Spiaggia, Bell & Anchor, Page at 63 Main and Events by Chef Peter Ambrose. Tickets are $40 for Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce members and $50 for non-members; email [email protected] for ticket info.

The exterior of the Sag Harbor Cinema,
The exterior of the Sag Harbor CinemaDanielle Lobosco

HarborFrost begins in earnest on Saturday, February 4 with a full day of activities planned throughout the village. Early birds of all ages can sign up for a StoryWalk Trail Hike through Mashashimuet Park and the Long Pond Greenbelt. Call Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt president Dai Dayton at 631-745-0689 to register, then meet at 10 a.m. at the Mashashimuet Park bleachers on the corner of Main Street and Jermain Avenue.

Visitors should then grab a coffee on Main Street at Goldberg’s Famous Bagels (11 Main Street), Sagtown Coffee (78 Main Street) or Grindstone Coffee & Donuts (7 Main Street) to hold off on food until the Culinary Stroll starts at noon.

Sponsored by the Sag Harbor Historical Society, the tour begins at Il Capuccino (30 Madison Street) and takes guests on a casual stroll about town, stopping to partake in the flavors of Sag Harbor at restaurants such as Lulu Kitchen & Bar, Page at 63 Main and K Pasa.

Entertainment will be provided by local rockers, there will be a cash bar available, and a prize will be awarded to the best decorated chef’s hat. The $50 ticket covers the dining specialties at each stop.

Contact Charlie Canavan at 631-379-2169 to sign up. Ending at 4 p.m., the Culinary Stroll gives people plenty of time to enjoy some of the other HarborFrost activities.

The Wharf Shop (69 Main Street) is hosting a Valentine’s Day card-making craft for the kids from noon–2 p.m. After that, 2–4 p.m., parents can take their tykes to Stella & Ruby (144 Main Street) for some frosty face bling.

Live music can be enjoyed at Kidd Squid Brewing Co. (1 Spring Street), where Brad Penual of well-known East End band Hopefully Forgiven will perform at 1:30 p.m. Open until 8 p.m., Kidd Squid will serve Hamptons Raclette food offerings and host a Sagaponack Distillery bourbon pop-up later in the day. Head to Dragon Hemp Apothecary (108 Main Street) for more live music from 3–4 p.m., performed by Daniel Lerner.

Following a skipper’s meeting at 1 p.m., the Breakwater Yacht Club and Community Sailing Center is hosting an Ice Breaker Sailing Regatta on the harbor at 2 p.m. Those looking for a boat to join can contact sailing director Sean Elliot in advance at [email protected].

Rich Daly doing his 2020 HarborFrost ice carving demo
Rich Daly doing his 2020 HarborFrost ice carving demo

Be sure not to miss the much-anticipated ice carving by Rich Daly of Ice Melodies, happening live 2:30–4 p.m. on the Long Wharf. Visitors will also notice nautical-themed ice sculptures in front of the various Main Street businesses, which plays into HarborFrost’s fire and ice theme.

The other half of that theme comes into play with Keith Leaf and His Flaming Friends, who are performing a fire dancing and juggling routine at Windmill Beach next to the Long Wharf, at 5:15 p.m. This leads up to the main event of HarborFrost: the world-famous Grucci fireworks show over the harbor at 5:45 p.m. There are plenty of great spots to watch this feat of pyrotechnics, but if you want to be up close and personal, the Long Wharf and Windmill Beach are prime picks.

Keith Leaf juggling at John Steinbeck Waterfront Park
Keith Leaf juggling at John Steinbeck Waterfront Park

A more exclusive spot for watching the fireworks, however, is Sag Harbor Cinema’s Green Room bar, which usually requires membership, a movie ticket or registration to an event there to gain access, but it’s open to the public noon–midnight for HarborFrost. They’re offering drink specials all night and a live acoustic set by Telly Karoussos of Hopefully Forgiven from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

For those with dinner on the mind around this time, the Old Whalers’ Church (44 Union Street) is serving hot soup, bread, dessert and a beverage for $10, with takeout available, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Fancier dining spots can be found at Baron’s Cove (31 West Water Street), Cappalletti Restaurant (3284 Noyac Road), Le Bilboquet (1 Long Wharf) and Tutto il Giorno (16 Main Street).

Sag Pizza (103 Main Street) and Harbor Market & Kitchen (184 Division Street) are great for grabbing some tasty takeout, followed by BuddhaBerry (125 Main Street) for dessert.

The fun doesn’t stop when the fireworks show ends and tummies are full. From 6–7 p.m. The Church (48 Madison Street) invites the community to an opening reception for their latest exhibition, Return to a Place by the Sea, which showcases the work of four African-American abstract painters who have called Sag Harbor home: Nanette Carter, Gregory Coates, Al Loving and Frank Wimberley.

Finally, at 8 p.m. Bay Street Theater (1 Bay Street) is bringing the laughs with the All-Star Comedy Show, featuring New York comedian Joseph Vecsey’s latest lineup of stand-out stand-up acts: Nick Whitmer, Ben DeMarco and Mike Sicoli. Anyone interested in busting a gut this Saturday should snag their tickets at baystreet.org before they sell out.

Visit sagharborchamber.com for more info about HarborFrost and participating businesses.