There are 98 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day to take advantage of peak season in North Fork. Here are 23 events to plan for this summer.
The schools are out, the strawberries are ripe and the solstice heralds a new beginning.
Meet the local farmers, June 5-6
Head to the Peconic River waterfront in downtown Riverhead for North Meets South: Farm, Food & Drinks Festival, where you can meet and mingle with the local farmers, artisans, restaurants, breweries and wineries of North and South Fork. Sponsored by East End Arts and the Long Island Farm Bureau, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. For more details, northforkevent.com.
Editor’s Note: The North Meets South event has been rescheduled for October 2-3.
Dive into a mud race, June 13
This one’s for women: Muddy Princess Long Island, an outdoor obstacle course mud race, gives women and girls ages 9 and up the chance to run, walk, crawl and climb along a course 5 km to Long Island Sports Park in Calverton. The race takes place in waves to allow social distancing, from 8 a.m. Tickets start at $ 49 for attendees and your cheer section is free. For more details, muddyprincess.com.
Go out to the Long Island Aquarium on June 18
Sample local food and drink as you explore the Long Island Aquarium at the annual Taste of the East End Gala. Starting at 7 p.m. there will be an open bar and food from Atlantis Banquets & Events, Seaside Grill, the Preston House and more. Tickets cost $ 85. For more details, longislandaquarium.com.
See Art in the Park, June 19
Grangabel Park in downtown Riverhead will be filled with illuminated grounds tonight for Reflextions, an after dark art experience. There will also be live performances. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and repeats on July 17 and August 14. For more details, centre-villeriverhead.org.
Celebrate the solstice, June 20
Host the official start of summer at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, where the Giving Room will host a special event featuring yoga, meditation and a sunset fire ceremony. The Southold Wellness Center will also offer a range of yoga classes, African dance and a nature walk at Inlet Pond County Park in Greenport. For more details, Givingroom.net.
See the Strawberry Super Moon on June 24
The June Full Moon, aka the Strawberry Moon, peaks on June 24 and is one of three super moon events in 2021. A few days before, on June 19 at 8 p.m., watch the moon rise and paddle along the Peconic River with a guide on Moonlight Tours from Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals to Riverhead. Night kayaking costs $ 60 per person and returns July 23 at 8 p.m. and August 21 at 7 p.m. For more details, longislandcanoekayakrentals.com.
Relax in a lavender field on June 27
Few things are more transporting (the scent! The color!) Than French lavender. Lavender by the Bay fields in East Marion and Calverton are expected to reach full bloom by now; check out their Instagram feed from mid-June. For details, lavenderbythebay.com.
Nights of fireflies and fireworks, and days with your feet in the sand.
Spend a night at the races, July 3
For the 71st year, Riverhead Raceway is hosting an annual celebration with NASCAR races, a demolition derby, a kids’ Ferris wheel race and a fireworks display not to be missed. For more details, riverheadraceway.com.
Watch the fireworks over Orient Harbor on July 3
Boom: The Orient Harbor fireworks are back for 2021. The Independence Day display begins at 9:15 pm and is expected to be visible from the Orient Causeway and along the shores surrounding Hallocks Bay. For more details, orientfireworks.com.
To catch a Concer Drive-Int, July 8
Get out of your car to listen to traditional live music at the Naugles Barn at Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead. The farm started hosting drive-in style concerts last summer and plans to do so again this year. Concerts are also scheduled for July 1, 22 and 29 and August 5 and 12; pending COVID rules, the farm will also be holding its annual barn dance on July 31 and a country fair on August 28. For more details, hallockville.org.
Show your love to the bees, July 25
Watch beekeepers demonstrate their work and shop for honey and beeswax products at the Honey Bee Festival on the farm and the Garden of Eve organic market in Riverhead. Hayrides will deliver you to the fresh acre sunflower field for photo ops and picking opportunities. Tickets are $ 15 and the farm is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more details, gardenofevefarm.com.
Paddle the Peconic for sea turtles, July 31
A fundraiser for the New York Marine Rescue Center, Paddle Battle Long Island: Save the Sea Turtles, returns to Riverhead with two races for SUP, kayaks and canoes: a 2.5 mile recreational course along the Peconic River and a competitive 5 mile race for the serious paddler. Races start at 9:15 a.m. and single and double registrations are welcome at $ 65 per person. For more details, paddlebattleli.com.
Lobster feast, July 31
The always-awaited LobsterFest, benefiting the Rotary Clubs of Southold and Greenport, will be back: under COVID rules, the event will be a take-out or sit-down meal at Founder’s Landing Park in Southold. Either way, you’ll enjoy a lobster or steak dinner with all the garnishes for a good cause. For more details, facebook. com / southoldrotary.
Sunflowers are blooming, farm stalls are overflowing, and your to-do list can wait.
Walk through a maze of sunflowers on August 1
If you don’t post a selfie in a field of sunflowers, has summer arrived? The Sidor Farms Sunflower Maze in Mattituck is usually open for all of your Instagram needs by the first week of August (but watch their own feed for updates). These beautiful harvests provide the sunflower oil used to make North Fork’s potato chips, so be sure to grab a bag from the on-site farm stand. For more details, instagram.com/northforkchips.
Put the local wine to the test, August 4
The North Fork Table & Inn in Southold will be running wine classes one Wednesday per month, starting in May. The August edition (exact date to be announced) should be especially fun: East vs. West: Wine Country Royale pits three North Fork wines against California wines of the same varietals in a blind tasting. Can Long Island upset the style of the Judgment of Paris? For more details, visit northforktableandinn.com.
Shell oysters, August 5
It’s National Oyster Day, which is a good reminder to stop by your nearest North Fork oyster stand. For storage and shelling tips, check out Peeko Oysters owner Peter Stein’s YouTube channel or schedule a private New Suffolk farm tour to perfect your shelling technique in person. For more details, peekooysters.com.
Float your homemade boat on August 7th
Create your own ship from cardboard and duct tape – or just cheer from the sideline – at the Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race on the edge of the Peconic River. There will be several regattas and prizes for the best built, the most creative and more. Rain date on August 8. For more details, centre-villeriverhead.org.
Experience the music and the meteors on August 14
Head to the Custer Institute & Observatory in Southold for a unique outdoor concert, Dust from the Stars: A Reflection. Ambient art-rock collective Blow Up Hollywood will perform on the lawn while participants above their heads try to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Perseid meteor shower. After the concert, get a guided look at the cosmos through the many on-site telescopes. For more details, custerobservatory.org.
Grill a Shelter Island icon on August 21
Celebrate summer and the newly restored Dominy 1810 Windmill at the Sylvester Manor Windmill Festival from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. For details, sylvestermanor.org.
Have all the watermelon you can eat, August 21-22
Fill up on sweets at the annual Harbes Watermelon Harvest at Harbes Farm & Vineyard in Mattituck from 10am to 7pm. -UPS. For more details, harbesfamilyfarm.com.
Sail to Sunset, August 31
Make this last summer sunset even more special by watching it from the water. In Greenport, sign up for a sunset cruise to Bug Light Lighthouse with the East End Seaport Museum or splurge on a private charter for up to 6 people with Layla Sailing. It’s the last week of summer, after all. For more details, see eastendseaport.org or laylasailing.com.