Everything the North Fork has to offer will be on full display when a new pilot shuttle bus service connecting wineries, hamlets and local businesses launches Veterans Day weekend (Friday Nov. 8 – Monday Nov. 11).
The groups behind the shuttle are currently planning a ‘Taste North Fork” festival to coincide with the pilot program on Veterans Day weekend. The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.
The buses, which will be provided by Hampton Jitney, will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Cross Sound Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours.
The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End, said Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council during the meeting. “The hope is [that businesses] can come up with themes to showcase their community,” he said.
Mr. Bischoff said he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season. “We have to make sure it’s not a bridge to nowhere,” he said. “We would like some sort of annual event in the slow season to bring in tourists.”
The organizations are now working with the towns and the Hampton Jitney to finalize the exact shuttle route.