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Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

Making a difference together

By Heidi Sutton

Visit the Port Jefferson Free Library table at the 2018 Green Fest

Seeking to promote an eco-friendly environment and a “greener” lifestyle, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its 10th annual Green Fest on Saturday,  June 16 from 1 to 5 p.m.

The free event will once again be held at the Port Jefferson Village Center at 101 East Broadway — a most fitting venue as the community hub is the result of a recycling/renovation of the historic Bayles Shipyard Building — and will feature green market vendors throughout the first floor and outside if the weather is nice.

The annual festival began a decade ago with the goal to educate, inform, entertain and enlighten people on how to make smart choices for a greener world including being energy conscious as a way to reduce our carbon footprint.

Quality Shredding will be at the event.

This year’s highlight will be a community shredding event from 1 to 3:30 p.m. by Quality Shredding of Deer Park. “We wanted to make more of an impact and add another dimension to the event,” said Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber. Residents and visitors can bring up to three bags or boxes of personal papers per person to be shredded for free. The mobile truck is capable of shredding up to 10,000 pounds of personal paper.

Entertainment will include a yoga class by Satya Yoga & Pilates Studio in Mount Sinai (mats will be provided), two spiritual drumming circles with shamanic drummer Peter Maniscalco and a performance by improvisational solo street guitarist Jeff Bellanca of Classic Jam  1. 

Children will enjoy visiting the Port Jefferson Free Library’s Green Teens table to make a craft using recycled materials and the Sweetbriar Nature Center’s table to see their resident critters. And if your stomach starts rumbling during the event, visit the Sweet Melissa 1932 Farm to Table food truck, specializing in organic nutritional cuisine.

SERVPRO of Port Jefferson will return to the festival this year.

Of course, no festival is complete without a diverse group of over 20 select vendors highlighting green products and services including renewable solar energy, electric/hybrid and smart cars, electric bikes with live demonstrations along with a mini-farmers market offering candles, flowers, plants, soaps, yarn and baked goods for sale. 

With so much going on, this family-friendly event is a great way to kick off the summer. Come on down and enjoy the day learning about methods that promote sustainable ways of living that will benefit our environment and planet and make our community a healthier place to live. The first 100 attendees will receive a free canvas bag, courtesy of SERVPRO of Port Jefferson. Making a difference begins with one small step (or fest) at a time.

Co-sponsored by Times Beacon Record News Media, Maggio Environmental Services and SERVPRO of Port Jefferson, the event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 631-473-1414 or visit www.portjeffgreenfest.com.

Photos courtesy of PJCC

Kenyer Natural Bakery will return to the event this year.

Save the date! The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Dan’s Papers, will host its 10th annual The Taste @ Port Jefferson at the Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson overlooking the Harborfront Park and harbor on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

In celebrating this landmark anniversary, the chamber has reached out to the greater Port Jefferson restaurant community and will highlight over 30 restaurants and purveyors offering top-quality food tastings and desserts as well as samples of premium liquors, wines and beers. The event, for ages 21 and over, has been changed to a night venue, which creates new energy and features musical entertainment by the rock band New Life Crisis. In addition to the usual indoor setting, the event will spill outside under a 50- by 100-foot tent.

Try some delicious crepes from Crazy Crepe Café.

Participating food purveyors will include Amazing Olive, Bagel Express-Setauket, Bliss, Chick-fil-A at Port Jefferson, Crazy Crepe Café–Mount Sinai, Crazy Fish Bar & Gill, Curry Club, Danfords Wave Seafood Kitchen, Don Quijote, Dos Mexi Cuban Cantina, Kenyer Natural Bakery, Flying Pig Café, Land & Sea Seafood & Restaurant, Messina Market & Catering, Penntora Lao-Thai Catering, Port Jeff Lobster House, Slurp Ramen, Spiros Restaurant & Lounge, St. Charles Hospital, The Meadow Club and Tuscany of Miller Place.

Dessert samplings from A Cake in Time, East Main & Main, Kilwins of Port Jefferson and LaBonne Boulangerie Bakery will be offered along with beverage tastings from Starbucks, Port Jeff Brewing Company and Manhattan Beer.

Presenting sponsor this year will be New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, and chamber partner St. Charles Hospital will be highlighted as a silver sponsor. Other sponsors include BNB Bank, Farrell Storage and O’Brien Group, LLC, and the media sponsor is Dan’s Papers.

Tickets, which may be purchased online at www.tasteatportjeff.com, are $65 per person for general admission starting at 7 p.m. and $95 for VIP guests at 6 p.m., which includes early access by one hour, a special VIP lounge with tables and chairs, premium pours and desserts, VIP gift bag and special entertainment. For further details, call 631-473-1414.

Photos by Nicole Geddes

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Suwassett Garden Club hosted the third annual The Gardens & Landscapes of Port Jefferson, a self-guided tour of eight private gardens in the Port Jefferson Village July 8. Visitors explored the eight locations during the course of the sun-splashed afternoon. Homeowners Diane and John Aronica, Barbara and Brian McCann, Lee and Dominique Rosner, Sashi and Dinesh Shukla, Ellen and Kevin Bolier and Donna and Tom DiBernardo opened their gardens to the florally inclined guests of the tour. Stops were also included on the tour by Danfords Hotel & Marina and the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

Representatives from Powers Energy Solutions explain initiatives to visitors. Photo by Alex Petroski

By Alex Petroski

Last weekend, Port Jefferson was a haven for those concerned about the environment and interested in making changes in their everyday life to help improve the health of the Earth. The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its ninth annual Green Fest June 17 at the Village Center, where members of the community and representatives from nonprofits and companies with energy efficiency missions gathered to inform and help others learn about living a greener lifestyle.

Nearly 30 vendors were present, sharing messages and initiatives with attendees, including Direct Energy Solar, a company that specializes in installing solar energy systems for homes; PowerUp Communities, a Long Island Progressive Coalition project that offers free energy efficiency assessments for homes and offers financial assistance through state grants for efficiency improvements; Power Energy Solutions, a company that specializes in the installation and service of smart home equipment like efficient thermostats and smart lights, which can be utilized to drastically reduce a home’s footprint; and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, an international nonprofit advocating for federal legislation for a carbon emission fee.

Crystal Woods, a representative from PowerUp Communities, explained the importance of the company’s work and why participation in events like Green Fest is vital, especially on Long Island.

Ranger Eric Powers of Your Connection to Nature at Port Jeff’s annual Green Fest June 17. Photo by Alex Petroski

“We help homeowners get a free home energy assessment that’s provided to them by the state through [the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority], so they can find out what they’re wasting on their utility bills,” she said. “I do get encouraged when people ask questions about things like this … It’s not just putting a solar panel on the roof of your house, it’s unplugging your cellphone at night or making sure your computer is shut off when you’re not using it — basic, simple things that can make a huge impact.”

Michael Ripa, the co-owner of Powers Energy Solutions, reiterated Woods’ encouragement with the turnout and interest of the community during the event.

He said the company was started by his partner Jason Powers when he was working for the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., because Ripa said Powers saw a void in skilled, trade labor working in the field to install and service equipment meant to improve energy efficiency in homes.

“This is great,” he said of the inquisitive nature of visitors of the event and wide availability of important information. “Our office is in Port Jefferson. I’m hoping to see more and more of this — it’s very cool.”

Jeanne Brunson, the leader of the Long Island Chapter of the international organization Citizens’ Climate Lobby, stressed the importance of eliminating political bias from discussions about the environment.

“We all care about our natural resources — conservative, progressive, doesn’t matter,” she said. “That’s something that we all care about especially here on Long Island, where the impacts of climate change could be so catastrophic. I love to see people coming together regardless of political persuasion on that.”

Brunson added her mission in attending the event was to encourage visitors to ask their representatives in Congress to support legislation to enact a carbon fee, which would charge energy companies that use fossil fuels and would reimburse American taxpayers with the money.

“So it’s a price signal to the market to shift away from fossil fuels,” she said. “It’s a carbon tax, which we refer to as a fee because of the return of the revenue.”

Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations Barbara Ransome said the event was a success because it allowed visitors to speak one on one with vendors on ways to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Maritime Boater’s Festival June 3 and 4 at Harborfront Park. Community members of all ages came out to enjoy food, music and activities during the two-day festival.

Pindar Wine Shop. Photo by Kevin Redding
East End Shirt Company. Photo by Kevin Redding

This past Saturday, May 13, a total of 19 businesses throughout the Port Jefferson Village, north of the Long Island Railroad tracks, participated in the second annual “Port Jefferson On Sale!” shopping crawl. Coinciding with Mother’s Day weekend, this year’s crawl was part of an ongoing initiative by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce to help boost traffic for local retailers.

Participating stores, including The Amazing Olive, Sea Creations, Knitting Cove & Yarn Shop, Max & Millie, Pindar Wine, Crazy Fish Bar & Grill and Yogo Delish, offered 10 and 20 percent off sales and free items for customers.

The Knitting Cove & Yarn Shop. Photo by Kevin Redding

The crawl started with a free cup of coffee at Starbucks and anybody who made three purchases at three different businesses in the village could bring their receipts to Tommy’s Place for a free drink. A “Spring Thing Raffle” offered $200 worth of local merchants’ gift certificates.

Although Saturday’s heavy rain kept many shoppers at home, chamber director of operations Barbara Ransome said it’s an initiative worth continuing.

“It’s one of those events you have to keep doing to gain momentum,” she said. “We want to get people out there and familiar with the stores. We’re actively involved to help promote the [businesses] because that’s important…we’re really working hard, I was out on Saturday with my umbrella handing out cards and going into businesses.”

Mary Joy Pipe, the owner of East End Shirt Company, offered customers who spent $75 at her store a free $20 hoodie.

East End Shirt Company. Photo by Kevin Redding

“The chamber asked for our input as retailers as to what would help us,” Pipe said. “It encourages people to walk the village and experience new stores that maybe they’ve never gone into before. Being a retailer, you’ve got to keep trying and trying.”

Other participating stores included Port Jeff Liquor, The Crushed Olive, Sue’s Place, and Diva’s Den.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its 19th annual Easter Parade down Main Street in the Village, followed by an egg hunt in Harborfront Park Easter Sunday, April 16. Hundreds of kids and their parents scoured the park for eggs to fill their baskets, and later posed for photos with the Easter Bunny.

Photo from PJCC
Photo from PJCC
Photo from PJCC

THAT’S BRILLIANT! The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce recently announced the winner of its annual scarecrow competition that was held in conjunction with the village’s Harvest Fest. Port Jefferson Juniors & Cadet Girl Scout Troop 1390 beat out the competition with their scarecrow, ‘Harry Potter’s Hermione.’ The group wins a $50 gift card to The Pie in Port Jefferson. Congratulations! Take a Scarecrow Walk down East Main Street through November to view all the wonderful entries.

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com.

File photo by Giselle Barkley A Dragon Boat team races to the finish at last year’s event. File photo by Giselle Barkley

Dragons will roar once again as the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts the 3rd annual Port Jefferson Dragon Boat Race Festival in the village on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The free event, which will be held at the Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway and the Port Jefferson Inner harbor, is anticipated each year with great fanfare.

The festival is the brainchild of Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, who attended a dragon boat festival in Cape May, New Jersey, a few years ago.

“This year’s ‘Dragons’ has 32 teams, up from last year of 22,” said Ransome. “We have brought in new Asian entertainment and have configured the layout of the park differently to accommodate all the new team encampments and the entertainment. The event is rain or shine and will lots of great recreational racing competition, where we will be giving out over 300 medals to our winnning team paddlers!”

Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. with Erin and Kiera Pipe singing the national anthem and a performance by the Asian Veterans Color Guard. Buddhist Monk Bhante Nanda of the Long Island Buddhist Meditation Center will hold the Blessing of the Dragon and “Eye Dotting” ceremony to kick off the races and there will be a special appearance of the festival mascot Dragon sponsored by the Harbor Ballet Theatre.

With the first race scheduled at 9 a.m., boat teams will compete in a 250-meter course in four dragon boats provided by the High Five Dragon Boat Company and will include representatives from local hospitals, civic groups, businesses and cultural organizations. Each team will be made up of 20 “paddlers,” one steersman and one drummer. Heats will run all day (all teams will race three times) with a culmination of an awards ceremony at the end of the day.

Spectators can easily view the race course from the park’s edge and pier. In addition to the races, there will be a day-long festival featuring numerous performances including the famous Lion Dance, martial arts, dancing and singing. New this year is the performance of Bian Lian, the art of Chinese mask changing. In addition there will be a performance of the Erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle).

Various Asian delicacies will be offered from food vendors including spring rolls, pot stickers, pork buns, sushi, cold noodles, bubble tea and fried dumplings. There will be many activities for children including the painting of “dragon” eggs, visiting with real dragons, crafts and even a fun photo booth to create a fun memory keepsake!

Adults can try their hand at traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy and enjoy massages and Reiki by the Port Jeff Salt Cave along with chair massages by Panacea Massage & Wellness Studio of Port Jeff.

Sponsors include the Confucius Institute of Stony Brook, LongIsland.com, People’s United Bank, Times Beacon Record Newspapers, News12, ServPro of Port Jefferson, Maggio Environmental Services, New York Community Bank, Stony Brook University, Tritec, Suffolk County National Bank, OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates — Long Island Chapter and Asian-American Cultural Circle of Unity.

Free shuttle buses provided by the Port Jeff Jitney will make frequent stops at the Port Jefferson Train Station, CVS parking lot on Barnum Avenue and the corner of Belle Terre Road and Myrtle Avenue to bring eventgoers to the Port Jefferson Village Center until 5:30 p.m.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and come enjoy the festivities. For more information, call 631-473-1414 or visit www.portjeffdragonfest.com.


A dragon greets visitors at last year’s festival. Photo by Elyse Sutton
A dragon greets visitors at last year’s festival. Photo by Elyse Sutton

7:45 a.m. Team captains meeting on the Great Lawn at Harborfront Park

8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food vendors, crafts, children activities, photo booth pictures, cultural/educational/nonprofit vendor tables

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dragon Boat races in the Port Jefferson Inner Harbor

9 a.m. First races begin

9 a.m. DDKY Korean Traditional Drums

9:30 a.m. Long Island Chinese Dance Group

10 a.m. Sound of Long Island Chorus, Chinese classic, modern singing, dances

10:30 to 11 a.m. Performance by Taiko Tides — Japanese percussion instruments, drumming

11:15 a.m. Performance by the Stony Brook Youth Choir — Peking Opera, Chorus and Chinese Yoyo

11:30 a.m. North Shore Youth Music Ensemble

12 to 1 p.m. Lunch break (no racing)

12 to 12:45 p.m. Parade of the Team T-Shirt Contest and Best Drummer Costume Contest. Location: Show Mobile

12:45 p.m. Authentic Shaolin Kung-Fu Lion Dance, Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstration

1 p.m. Races continue

2 p.m. Chinese Umbrella Dance performed by Alice and Emily Snyder

2:30 p.m. DDKY Korean Traditional Drums

3 p.m. Bian Lian performance (art of Chinese mask changing) and performance of the Erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle)

3:30 p.m. Song Island Performing Art Group

4 p.m. United Martial Arts Center — Japanese Karate and Ninjutsu

4:30 p.m. Performance by Taiko Tides — Japanese percussion instruments, drumming

4:45 p.m. Last Dragon Boat race

5 to 5:30 p.m. Closing ceremonies and awards