Home Community Event Photos Shellabration event draws hundreds of visitors to Greenport

Shellabration event draws hundreds of visitors to Greenport

The Village of Greenport was abuzz with the sounds of people — lots of people — having fun this afternoon, as Shellabration weekend got underway.

More than 300 walk-ups bought bracelets entitling visitors to Shellabration specials at 18 restaurants and many local shops. More than 400 people registered online.

The two-day event is a fundraiser for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s marine program and participating local restaurants emphasized local seafood in their Shellabration specials. They teamed up with local vineyards and breweries for pairings of food and wine or beer.

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Gene Austin, whose father Elbert “Butter Austin” was a longtime Greenport oyster boat captain, with a display on the history of oyster fishing in the village, on exhibit at the Greenport schoolhouse during this weekend’s Shellabration. Photo: Denise Civiletti

But food and wine weren’t the only attractions in the village today.

The Greenport schoolhouse was open with a Sterling Historical Society exhibit  about the local oyster industry, which thrived in the seaside village until 1953, when a bad November storm dealt the fishery a blow from which it could not recover, according to Gene Austin, the son of an oyster boat captain.

Austin set up the exhibit in the schoolhouse and gave informative talks on the history of the industry on Long Island.

Rep. Steve Israel signs a copy of his book for Debbie O'Kane. Photo: Denise Civiletti
Rep. Steve Israel signs a copy of his book for Debbie O’Kane. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Burton’s Bookstore hosted Congressman Steve Israel for a book-signing of his new novel The Global War on Morris, which Israel described as a parody of Washington, drawing from his own experience in the capital. The novel, his first, is about how a man named Morris, due to a series of errors involving a government supercomputer becomes public enemy number.

Up the street, the Railroad Museum of Long Island held an open house featuring Santa Claus, who arrived in a speeder rail car, singing  “Jingle Bells”  as soon as he disembarked. The railroad museum is closed until Memorial Day.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.