A quiet, invitation-only event was not the way Sag Harbor Village officials envisioned dedicating Long Wharf, which was reopened this summer following a $4.3 million renovation project. But COVID-19 and the need to maintain social distancing put an end to any attempt at holding a large-scale public event, according to Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy.
Instead, this Saturday, September 12, the mayor will be joined by other officials and some of the contractors who worked on the nearly year-long project at a low-key ribbon-cutting event the mayor said is being held primarily for a videotape archive of the project.
So low-key is the affair that the mayor said she was not sure if it would be held at 3:30 or 4 p.m., a decision that would be made closer to Saturday once everyone’s schedules are known.
The Village Board will be joined by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, and East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander was invited, but will not be able to attend.
The effort to keep the event on the down low was almost blown up by that great disrupter, social media, after Gene Casey, the leader of the popular rockabilly band, The Lone Sharks, posted on Facebook that his band and the Hoo Doo Loungers, another popular group with a New Orleans-influenced vibe, would be playing at the wharf’s dedication. The post has since been taken down.
But the mayor said the bands are the final attractions in a summer series of concerts hosted by WLNG radio. Earlier shows in the series were held in Marine Park, but Bill Evans, the co-owner of WLNG, said on Tuesday that the shows would, in fact, take place at the end of Long Wharf after the village’s ceremony.
In the summer, as work wound down on the renovation project, the Village Board had discussed holding a public ceremony to mark the project’s completion sometime in the fall and invite Governor Andrew Cuomo to take part, but with the pandemic lingering, the mayor said it was wiser to scrap those ideas.
The village received about $1.5 million in state funding for the renovation project. Besides replacing deteriorating sheathing and worn out pavement, the project included new drainage, better lighting and electrical service for the large yachts mooring at the wharf, and planters and wider walkways to make the pier more attractive to pedestrians.