Stamford Advocate

HarborFest returns to South End after year away due to COVID

- By Ignacio Laguarda

STAMFORD — One of Stamford’s most popular events is back after a year off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HarborFest, organized by Stamford-based environmen­tal education and conservati­on organizati­on SoundWater­s, will look a lot like it did when it was last held in 2019.

Bob Mazzone, vice president of developmen­t for SoundWater­s, said this year is all about bringing the event back to

life, not expanding on what has been offered in years past.

“We’re trying to bring people back to the harbor almost like it’s the first time,” Mazzone said.

The event will take place on the boardwalk at the Harbor Point waterfront at 2200 Atlantic St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

“HarborFest is fun, educationa­l and free for everyone,” said Leigh Shemitz, SoundWater­s president, in a press release from the organizati­on. “Whether you tour the harbor on one of our boats or tour the oyster boat on the dock, enjoy the live music or fresh oysters, play a round of golf or experience the largest fireworks show of 2021, you’re going to love your day on Stamford’s thriving waterfront.”

This year, organizers are telling visitors to come wearing masks.

For a full schedule of events, visit SoundWater­s

The popular cardboard kayak race will return this year. Teams receive sheets of cardboard and rolls of tape and are given two hours to build a two-person kayak. Then, they race each other in the harbor to see who gets to the finish line, and who finishes the race at all.

While most of the events at HarborFest are free, the kayak race costs $100 to enter; registrati­on is open at the fest’s website.

There will also be music and food onsite, including an “oyster lounge,” where visitors can sample mollusks from Long Island Sound courtesy of Stamford’s Stella Mar Oyster Company.

Additional­ly, SoundWater­s will be offering 45-minute boat tours throughout the event that will include history lessons on Stamford Harbor going back as far as 1642. The rides, which are $5, will depart hourly between 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

SoundWater­s’ schooner will also be available for 45-minute rides, for the same price of $5. The 80foot ship will take passengers out into the Long Island Sound waters for a view of Stamford’s skyline.

The event will also feature golfing, boat building, a dog parade and painting, among other activities.

All proceeds from HarborFest go toward SoundWater­s education programs.

“Because we haven’t done this in two years, I’m looking forward to crowds,” said Mazzone. “I’m looking forward to people coming down.”

Live music and food trucks will stay on the premises until a fireworks show put on the city commences around 8:30 p.m. The event is free to the public. Parking will also be free and available at Harbor Point garages, according to the organizers.

“This is a great place to spend your day,” Mazzone said.

 ?? Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo ?? Chelsea Lovece and Tom Lovece win the Cardboard Kayak Race at the 2019 HarborFest in Stamford.
Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo Chelsea Lovece and Tom Lovece win the Cardboard Kayak Race at the 2019 HarborFest in Stamford.

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