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KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | There's one weekend a year you're guaranteed to see a pirate walking down the streets of Greenport.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | There’s one weekend a year you’re guaranteed to see a pirate walking down the streets of Greenport.

Many would argue that the annual Greenport Maritime Festival didn’t need changing, but in 2013 organizers at the East End Seaport Museum disagreed.

The 24th annual festival featured a slew of changes from past years, but didn’t deter crowds, which numbered in the thousands during the two-day event.

The made-over event included at souped-up Friday night reception. During the weekend there were other new additions: children’s shows, a pie-baking contest and the “merfolk contest,” a costume competition in which children ages 5 to 12 dressed up as mermaids and mermen. Putting the focus back on local goods, organizers excluded most out-of-area vendors, instead giving area artisans and craftspeople priority in the market space.

Not all the changes went off without a hitch, however.

In a bold and somewhat controversial move, the museum also ended the popular chowder contest, switching to oysters to better reflect Greenport’s history as an oystering community.

Based on community response to the change, however, the museum vowed to bring the chowder competition back for 2014.

Editor’s note: Check back every day until Dec. 28 to follow along with our top Northforker events of 2013.

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