By Wednesday afternoon, Mayor David Nyce said that the village wasn’t even close to a final tally of attendance and money made during this past weekend’s festival. But he was certain the unique event “did better than break even,” he said.
“All around I believe it was extremely successful — the trains from Mattituck, Riverhead, Ronkonkoma and points west were packed,” Nyce said. “The village merchants were making money and were very happy about that.”
Thousands poured into the streets and onto the docks of Mitchell Park for the three-day festival, which coincided with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 this year. officials planned that the armada of historic replica would attract up to 50,000 visitors to the village this Memorial Day Weekend.offered riders traveling to Greenport a deal to pay only $5 at the gate instead of $15.
Village merchants, from restaurants to retail, said they did indeed have a profitable weekend.
“It was an extremely busy weekend and although the hotel was sold out long before news of the Tall Ships, the restaurant was non-stop with Tall Ships visitors,” said Deborah Pittorio, owner and executive chef at C “I think it was great that local businesses had the opportunity to feed the tourists rather than having outside vendors compete with us.”
Marc Lamaina, owner of on Main Street, said that there was a “great vibe in town” during the Tall Ships festival and described the weekend as the “best for us since we opened.”
Linda Kessler, owner of theboutique shop on Front Street, said that having the streets open for those strolling in and out of shops was a relaxing experience and that many customers commented on how they thought that the Tall Ships festival wasn’t a typical street fair.
“They expressed how easy it was to gain access to the local stores and frequent the restaurants and that we were keeping the revenue in the village,” Kessler said. “I would love to see the village close the streets at least once a month from June to September maybe in coordination with the gallery walks. It would cut down on pollution and encourage biking and strolling around the village.”
Safety-wise, Chief Martin Flatley also described the event as a success. Local patrols had help from New York State Police in the form of two bicycle patrol troopers and one trooper in a patrol vehicle.
“We planned and prepared for this event both from a traffic/ festival perspective and also from a marine event and I am very glad I did as the weather proved to bring out hordes of visitors both by car and by pleasure boats,” the chief said. “We had the usual types of calls that you would anticipate when you are entertaining that number of visitors, but none all that serious.”
Mayor Nyce said that in no way was this one-off event meant to compete with theannual Maritime Festival, which is set to go once again this year in September.
What was your favorite part of the Tall Ships festival? Let us know in the comments below.