10 things to do on the North Fork this May

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May is a mile marker on the North Fork. It is a distinct turning point when so much of what makes this area special returns to life. Farm stands are stocking a variety of fresh produce, flowers are blooming and the impending Memorial Day holiday heralds the excitement of summer. 

May begs for adventure and exploration — and there are plenty of ways to chart your course. 

First Fridays on Love Lane

This popular block party-style event returns for its fifth season Friday, May 3 and runs on the first Friday of each month through October. Hundreds turn out to mingle on the merchant-lined, music-filled street for an evening of sipping, shopping and sampling. Expect all the previous vendors along with newcomers Strong’s Marine, Vintage Mattituck Wine and Spirits and Braun Seafood. Each event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Love Lane. Follow along with event updates on Facebook at First Fridays on Love Lane or on Instagram @firstfridaysonlovelane.

Horseradish Festival at Hallockville 

Sample tasty horseradish-inspired fare at the first North Fork Horseradish Festival hosted by Holy Schmitt’s Horseradish and Hallockville Museum Farm. The family-friendly event will feature local wine, craft beer and generous samples of horseradish provided by Schmitt’s Farm.

East End food vendors will be serving dishes starring the spicy vegetable root, such as horseradish mac and cheese, roasted oysters with horseradish butter and hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard horseradish.  There will also be root grinding demonstrations and root tosses scheduled throughout the day.

Admission is $10 per adult and children under 12 are free. Learn more and purchase tickets at horseradishfestivalny.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door the day of the festival. A rain date is set for Sunday, May 5. 

Hallockville Museum Farm is located at 6038 Sound Ave, Riverhead

Dandelion Festival

The Dandelion Festival is fun for the whole family. (Credit: Michellina DaFonte)

Sunday, May 5, is the annual celebration of the dandelion at KK’s the Farm in Southold. The pretty yellow flower is often typecast as a pesky weed, but the dandelion has a number of medicinal and nutritional benefits. Find out more about them during the festival’s educational talks. There is also a flower crown-making station as well as dandelion salads, coffee and teas. The festival runs from noon to 6 p.m.

KK’s the Farm is located at 59945 Route 25, Southold; kkthefarm.com.

Mother’s Day Festival at Harbes Family Farm

Celebrate mom at Harbes (Credit: Madison Fender)

Celebrate the start of the season at Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. The annual Mother’s Day weekend festival runs Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy live music, wine tastings, pig races, hayrides, family-friendly games and more. All moms receive free admission to Barnyard Adventure.

Harbes Family Farm is located at 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. Visit harbesfamilyfarm.com for more information.

Watercolor workshop at Kate’s Cheese Co.

Try your hand at watercolor. (Courtesy photo provided by Melissa Hyatt)

Paint a springtime-inspired watercolor masterpiece while sampling cheese and wine. Local artist Melissa Hyatt leads the way during a Thursday, May 9 instructional class at Kate’s Cheese Co. in Greenport. Flowers of the East End are the theme of the night. Pansies and tulips placed in mason jars will be provided for inspiration, or bring your favorite spring florals inspo. 

While you paint, snack on delicious cheesy bites like goat cheese crostini topped with fruit and artisanal grilled cheeses. Registration is online. The $50 admission includes all materials and one glass of wine, beer or cider. All levels of experience welcome. 

Kate’s Cheese Co. is located at 19 Front Street, Greenport

Peconic Landing John May Mile and 5K

Dust off those running shoes! The 14thannual John May Mile and 5K run kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at Peconic Landing in Greenport. The race is open to runners and walkers of all ages and fitness abilities, offering both a relaxed mile-long walk and the more challenging 5K, 3.1-mile run. The annual fundraiser, which benefits the Greenport Fire Department, also has a barbecue after the race to celebrate. Click here to register. 

Peconic Landing is located at 1500 Brecknock Road, Greenport

Cherry Blossom Festival 

Take a stroll down the streets of Greenport for scenes of cherry trees coming into bloom. The pink-petaled trees burst to life each May. The Greenport Village Tree Committee held its first official Cherry Blossom Festival in 2017. The event returns when the blooms peak, between May 1 and May 15. A map of village trees is provided for visitors to follow on a self-guided tour of Greenport’s most colorful streets.

For more information, call 631-477-0248 or visit villageofgreenport.org

Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair

Spinners Kate Stoddard and Ellen Sullivan of Ronkonkoma at the Fleece and Fiber Fair. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair brings local artisans and vendors together at Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead. The two-day festival features demonstrations of basketweaving, sheep herding, quilting and more.

Vendors will be selling handmade products and food trucks will be on hand for lunch. You can also meet sheep, llamas, alpacas and angora rabbits that provide the fleece and fiber needed to make fiber goods. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Hallockville Museum Farm is located at 6038 Sound Ave, Riverhead

Rotary Uncorked 

Will Lee and Julianne Hall from Sang Lee Farm offer a sample to Donna Levy. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Sample offerings from 18 North Fork restaurants and farm stands along with local wines, beers and ciders — all for a good cause. The 13th annual Uncorked event hosted by the Rotary Club of Riverhead benefits the North Fork Animal Welfare League, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and other local charities and scholarships.

It is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 at Martha Clara Vineyards. Visit riverheadrotary.org

Alex Vinash Flower Power Runway Show

A model walks the runway at the American Legion in Greenport during the 2018 Alex Vinash fashion show. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)
A model walks the runway at the American Legion in Greenport during the 2018 Alex Vinash fashion show. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Fashion designer Alex Vinash will debut his colorful 2019 Resort Collection at a special runway show in Greenport to benefit Community Action Southold Town. The Argentinian-born designer, who operates a boutique at American Beech in Stirling Square, said the ’60s and female empowerment inspired the collection.

His designs have previously appeared on the red carpet at the Emmys, the Academy Awards and the Met Gala. This is the second year Vinash will host the benefit fashion show in Greenport. Last year, hundreds turned out for the event, raising thousands for CAST.

The Flower Power Runway Show, sponsored by American Beech and Times Review Media Group, is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenport American Legion, 102 Third St. Ticket information is available at castsoutholdtown.org.