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Cow Harbor Day


Cow Harbor Day is an annual, weekend-long festival that celebrates the history of the Village of Northport, which was once known as Great Cow Harbor. This year, the village turns 125 years old. As the legend goes, Great Cow Harbor got its name because many cows once grazed the fields along the water’s edge. The only bovines in sight the weekend of Sept. 21 were costumed residents and festival-goers.

The tradition coincides with the end of summer and typically attracts tens of thousands of people. This year’s glorious weather, if a little warm, seemed apropos for a farewell to the season. The events included a nationally ranked 10K run, a 2K fun run, a parade with marching bands and fire trucks, carnival rides, sidewalk sales, street vendors, live concerts in the bandstand and more. After Saturday’s race, the harbor glowed at dusk and into the evening with boats illuminated and decorated for the festival.  

Nearly 6,500 runner took to the streets of Northport Village Sept. 15 to participate in the Great Cow Harbor 10K Run and 2K Fun Run. The 41st anniversary of the race drew one of the largest number of participants ever, according to race organizers.

Hartford resident Donnie Cabral,  28, became the first to successfully defend his title as the race’s champion and top male finisher with a time of 29 minutes, 29.54 seconds. Cabral’s average pace per mile was 4:45.

Elaina Tabb, a 26-year-old from Watertown, Massachusetts, won first place in the women’s division with an overall time of 33:37.08, or a pace of 5:25 per mile.

Both Cabral and Tabb were presented with a $3,500 check from event sponsor People’s United Bank.

More than 4,000 runners raced through Northport streets Sept. 16 in the 40th annual Great Cow Harbor 10K. Competitors traveled from as far away as California and Washington state, to Lantau Island in Hong Kong to take on the rolling hills, and ranged in age from nine to 86.

The early morning fog with clouds threatened rain, but held off, making for a hot and humid day.

The weather didn’t appear to slow and runners down, and it was a downhill footrace for first place in the men’s division nearly ending in a photo finish. Donald Cabral, 27, of Hartford, won the men’s division finishing the 6.2-mile course in 29 minutes, 24 seconds. Following close on his heels were second-place finisher Craig Lutz, 24, of Flagstaff, Arizona in 29:28 and third-place finisher Timothy Ritchie, 30, of New Haven with a time of 29:32.

Natosha Rogers, 26, of Littleton, Colorado, took first place in the women’s division with a time of 33:23 for the same 6.2-mile course. Second place went to Kaitlin Goodman, 30, of Providence, who finished in 34:27, and third place was awarded to Oregon resident Renee Metevier, 35, with a time of 34:41.

Each and every finisher was cheered to the finish line by hundreds of local residents, friends and family who lined the sidewalks ringing cow bells, a part of the race’s tradition. Others held signs encouraging participants to “keep moo-ving” and stay “moo-tivated.”

The last to finish the course were a group of five firefighters who ran in dressed in full gear, including oxygen tanks, waving the American flag and others honoring firefighters and police.

Scenes from Cow Harbor Day in Northport Village Sunday, Sept. 18. photo by Victoria Espinoza

Northport Village celebrated it’s annual Cow Harbor Day with a parade and fair this past Sunday, Sept. 18 Local fire departments, village organizations and the Northport-East Northport High School marching band, cheerleaders, and kick line came out to march.