On the first Saturday in February, Sag Harbor Village is set to host HarborFrost, an afternoon of festivities. The waterfront community is hoping fireworks, ice sculpting, restaurant specials and a polar bear plunge will help drum up business and local support as a winter take on the popular end of summer HarborFest.
Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Robert Evjen said on Monday that the chamber has batted around the idea of a winter carnival for about three years. He said the chamber researched attempts elsewhere to attract people during the off season. The inspiration for HarborFrost, he said, is from villages like Saranac Lake, NY, that hold winter carnivals. "One day we will have the same extravaganza," he said.
Chamber Board member Phil Bucking said, "The New Year’s to Easter 'off season' is traditionally slow so Harborfrost is an opportunity for the community to get together and have some fun."
The inaugural theme is "fire and ice." Evjen said, "We thought fireworks and ice sculpting would be perfect." Restaurants and businesses jumped right on board offering "fire and ice" specials, centered around the year 2011, such as prixe fixe menus at $20.11.
The reached out to the chamber and asked if they could hold a fundraiser with a polar bear plunge at the foot of the windmill on the at 3:30 p.m.
Tiffany Scarlato, a lifelong resident who practices law in the village and is a former member of the village board, will be taking the plunge in exchange for at least $1,000 donations for the organization. She said she decided to when her best friend, Denise Schoen, also an attorney who has been a volunteer EMT for many years, told her that fundraising efforts were down about 25 percent in 2010.
"I like to see the community do well," she said, adding that as of Tuesday afternoon four people already came forward and said they would donate $100 each.
While she has never done anything like this before, she said that it's worth it if it helps her best friend and the community. Scarlato said her hope is that people are standing there ready to make donations when she jumps out of the water, and that donations can be made in advance directly to the organization.
Chainsaw ice sculpting will be a main attraction. Ice sculptures will be built at either end of the village business district; one on Long Wharf at 3 p.m. and the other in front of an hour later.
Benito Vila, another HarborFrost organizer, said that the ice sculptures will be designed with children in mind. "We're hoping they climb on them and carve their names into them," he said.
Playful Learning will be doing an experiment for kids to make their own snow, and , where he works, will be handing out hot cocoa and cupcakes.
The Sag Harbor Hysterical Society, a performing group that raises funds for charity, will lead a"culinary stroll" as part of the days events.
Grucci fireworks are due to light up the sky over Sag Harbor Cove at 5:45 p.m.