Bedlam Street Bash to Recall Cold Spring Harbor History

The Whaling Museum and Education Center is planning a Bedlam Street Bash, to celebrate Cold Spring Harbor’s past.

Food, drink, and other activities will form part of the event, scheduled for Dec. 1, harking back to the area’s whaling days in the 1850s when Main Street was known as Bedlam Street.  Participants will be able to travel through the museum for bites from local restaurants, rum tastings, historic then &; now presentations, craft-making, and live music.

The fundraising event is scheduled for 7-9 pm Dec.1 at the museum, 301 Main St., and is for adults age 21 and up.

“A whaleship arriving home to our coastal village could generate a commotion, and was cause for a community celebration,” says Nomi Dayan, executive director of the museum. “The blast of a cannon would first alert locals, who would watch Main Street fill with whalers who had not been home for 2-4 years. Local merchants would prepare to serve men who dreamed of a good meal. Cold Spring Harbor was, for a time, a rowdy place! We invite locals today to fall into this story and enjoy the evening with us in support of our museum.”

Town Historian Robert Hughes will lead “Then and Now” presentations of Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor. He will focus on the history of the locations for the five eateries that are offering tasting for this event; Sandbar, Harbor Mist, Sweetie Pies on Main, Cold Spring Harbor Plaza Deli and Grasso’s Restaurant.

Dr. Jennifer Anderson will present a session about the history of rum during her  chat, “Get Your Grog On.”

Participants can also join a scavenger hunt, which culminates in cracking a code to receive a prize from a treasure chest. Guests can try their hand at the scrimshaw, also known as one of America’s first folk art crafts. Guests will sketch and carve their designs into scrimshaw-style keepsake boxes. Throughout the night, guests will hear live sea shanties, high-spirited and bawdy work-songs of sailors performed by Scuttlebutt Stu. Guests can join in.

The Whaling Museum is selling advance tickets to the event at
Advance tickets are $40 per person, $20 for museum members. A limited number of advance tickets will be offered. At the door tickets will be $50 per person, $25 for museum members. Tickets are offered first come, first served. All evening activities are included in admission.


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