Shortly after the city begins winding down from the first annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas see story, page, 3 , New Haven's first "HarborFest" will sail into the Long Wharf area.
The three-day festival will make its debut Thursday-Saturday, July 4-6, on the west shore of the New Haven harbor, along Long Wharf Drive. Each day from noon to 10 p.m. visitors to the area can enjoy ship tours; sea storytellers; 16 radio-controlled boats; face painting; old-fashioned carousel and swing rides; live folk/pop, rock, R&B, jazz and blues music; and a variety of foods. Highlighting the festival will be a Fourth of July fireworks show launched from a barge in New Haven harbor. The display, which will begin at 9:30 p.m., will be telecast live by WTNH Channel 8, HarborFest's official television sponsor.
The ships that will be available for tours include the city's flagship, 96-foot Schooner Inc. Quinnipiack; the 226-foot U.S.N.S. Apache, one of seven ocean-going fleet tugboats operated by the Navy's Military Sealift Command; the 80-foot Soundwater; and a 41- foot U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue vessel.
"This promises to be a dynamic celebration of one of New Haven's most beautiful and underutilized assets -- its harbor," says New Haven Register publisher William J. Rush, who some months ago was tapped by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to assemble a planning and fundraising committee for the festival. In addition to the City of New Haven, the Register and WTNH, HarborFest sponsors include the Fusco Corporation, SNET, New Haven Savings Bank, Sports Haven and United Illuminating. U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman helped the city secure the U.S. Naval vessel for the event.