Well it’s the first week in May and that means it’s time for a Travel Tuesday themed post! This month’s theme was chosen by the wonderful Marcella of What A Wonderful World and is “Festivals and Celebrations.” Marcella wants us to share a festival, event or celebration that we’ve experienced either while traveling or at home and so I decided to change it up and do something I rarely do …. talk about home!
Today I’ll be talking a little bit about what us Long Islander’s like to call the happiest place on Earth. For all you others out there, you may know it as “The Boardy Barn.”
The Boardy Barn will be opening for the summer in just a few short weeks, and while it’s not exactly a festival, I like to consider it a grand celebration of summertime.
“But Lauren, what is this barn you speak of?”
What: The Ultimate Hamptons Sunday Fun-Day. A Boozefest of sorts.
When: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Sundays from 3pm-8pm (with some exceptions)
Where: Hampton Bays, New York
Why : Honestly, I don’t think there’s much of a “reason” for this event per se, other then to get silly and have the best time possible with your friends (and anyone else around for that matter).
The Boardy Barn is rumored to sell more beer in just 3 short months than Yankee stadium does in a full baseball season. It may be $20 to enter, but with $1 & $2 beers, I guarantee you’ll get your money’s worth!
Every summer barn-goers light up at the sight of those infamous giant red and white circus-like tents. They eagerly wait single file in line envisioning cold bubbly drafts, cheerful yellow stickers and classic throwback tunes. Pure bliss.
So, with the Boardy season quickly approaching- Here’s everything you need to know:
**The first and most important thing you should know before planning a trip to the Barn is that it’s not for everyone. If you don’t like getting down and dirty, feeling beer in your hair or waking up the next morning with mud between your toes- this place is not for you. If you think you can get past these slight aversions, go for it. If not, don’t be ashamed, just don’t go. You won’t have fun, I promise.
BOARDY BARN ATTIRE
Before spending a day at the Boardy Barn you need an idea of what to wear. This may not seem like a very important point, but trust me it is.
- First of all, DO NOT wear ANYTHING that you have an emotional attachment to. This includes shirts, shorts, jewelry, watches, hair accessories, socks, etc. Come on, this is called The Boardy BARN. Looking good is definitely not the objective. I’ve literally had to condemn some clothes after a trip to the barn. If you like it, don’t wear it. Or wear it, but you’ll regret it.
- Do not wear orange. Seriously. This is pretty much one of the Boardy Barn’s only written rules. The security guards wear orange and therefore if everyone else did too, things would get pretty confusing. They won’t even let you in if you’re wearing orange, so do yourself a favor and pick another shirt.
- I wouldn’t wear white. This one isn’t necessarily obligatory, but if you’d rather not take part in an impromptu wet t-shirt contest, I’d avoid wearing white. I learned this the hard way my first time at the barn …. Thankfully I was also sporting a post-beach bikini top underneath. You’re likely to get soaked (whether you want to or not), so be prepared for the worst.
- Wear sunscreen. If you’re the type of person that burns easily, or really just burns at all, make sure to lather up. While there is a big ol’ red tent covering the dance floor, a good part of the Barn roasts under the late afternoon summer sun.
- The last thing I will mention as far as Barn attire is footwear. If anything is going to get destroyed here, it’s your shoes. The Boardy floor is damp, muddy and covered in a ‘not so thin’ layer of beer. People will stomp and splash and your feet are going to get covered. I have one pair of flip flops that are my designated Barn flops. Let’s just say no matter how many times I hose them down, they’re not looking much better.
BEFORE BARN DO’S
- Make sure you are over 21. LEGALLY. This one may seem silly, but really, if you’re under 21 don’t bother. If you don’t have a valid ID, don’t bother. If your ID is expired, don’t bother. A bouncer at the Barn is harder to get past than a US customs officer. They take ID’s incredibly seriously, so get ready for a stare down upon arrival.
- Brush up on your 90’s song lyrics. Before heading to the Barn, make sure you review your oldie’s classics. The Boardy playslist will include anything from current hits to throwbacks from your parent’s day. Get ready to sing-a-long to classic crowd favorites like Brown Eyed Girl, Sweet Caroline and a personal favorite- Shout.
- Come armed with cash. Don’t count on using your card. The entrance fee is flat $20 cash and ATM’s are scarce. If you do find an ATM expect a hefty fee. I would plan ahead and bring as much cash as you’re willing to dish out.
- Protect your valuables with plastic bags. This may be one of the most important tips I’ve gotten before going to the Barn. I’d suggest not bringing along anything of value, but if you must bring it, protect it. You’re likely to get soaked and you don’t want your innocent phone to go down with you.
AT BARN DO’S
- Order as many beers as your little arms can carry. When you’ve finally made it all the way up to the bar, don’t waste your turn. Order as many beers as possible. The way people drink at the Barn, even this won’t last you very long, so take advantage of the opportunity. My friends and I usually take the assembly line approach, ordering and passing back until everyone’s hands are full.
- Stock up on strips of stickers. There’s no better way to make friends at the Barn than to be the barer of those quirky little happy faces everyone’s after. The best way to get them is to ask for strips of stickers at the bar or the pizza counter. Once you’ve got them, put them on friends. Put them on strangers. Heck, cover a bald man’s head with those guys. Spread the happiness. It’s what the barn is all about!
- Is all that chugging starting to catch up with you? Head to the pizza counter. Not a pizza person? Grab a dog. Just make sure you eat something during all that drinking or you’re not likely to make it through the day.
BOARDY BARN DON’TS
Big, orange-shirted Boardy Barn bouncers man their perches like hawks ready to swoop. I’ll be honest. They don’t miss much.
- DON’T get caught throwing beer. If one of your big orange friends catches you throwing or spilling beer on someone else, it is automatic ejection. That’s right ejection. You’ll literally be picked up by a mob of orange and carried out of there. Plus, one of the best parts of the Boardy Barn is finding sneaky ways to spill on your friends. I didn’t say don’t do it.. I just said get creative. (Don’t tell the bouncers I told you)
- DON’T lift anyone up. Lifting someone up is another sure way to get the boot. This includes piggy back rides, shoulders, running leaps and even passionate hugs.
- DON’T stack your cups. I also made this mistake one of my first visits, at which point my friends so graciously remarked ‘only losers stack their cups’ ….
- DON’T order liquor. The best part of the Barn is the super cheap beer! I guess… if you must …. indulge in one or two mixies… but come on, go with the flow. The beer is where it’s at.
- DON’T Miss your train home. For all the out of towners and city folk that make their way to the barn, catching the train is very important. Luckily, living so close, this isn’t a problem for me, but I’ve been told it’s one of the most brutal after barn experiences you can have. Cabs in the Hamptons are EXPENSIVE, not to mention, nothing is really “close.” After a day of drinking in the sun the last thing you want to have to do is clumsily find a new way home.
Find Boardy’s list of Rules here
So, in con-clu-s-ion:
The Barn may be rowdy, it may be dirty and pretty damn gross, but ask anyone who’s been and you’ll hear the same- IT’S AWESOME!
Couldn’t have said it much better than this guy …
What do you think of this event? Would you give it a try, or is this too scary of a scene?
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