Long Island Sports Park is planning a holiday light show at its Calverton site from mid-November through Dec. 30.
The event will feature a large display of 30-foot-tall lighted holiday decorations, Matthew Glaser of Bold Broadcasting told the Riverhead Town Board at its work session today.
Visitors will drive through the park to see the display, while listening to a special holiday music sound track on their car radios. The sound track will be broadcast over an onsite low wattage transmitter, Glaser said.
The admission charge — per car — will be $23 if purchased online at $25 at the gate, he said. The event will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 5 to 11 on Fridays and Saturdays and from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. The drive-through will take five to seven minutes, Glaser said.
He assured board members the site will be able to handle the traffic drawn to the event and will not back up onto Edwards Avenue, where the sports park — the former home of Calverton Links — is located.
“We’re expecting no more than two or three vehicles per minute, at most,” he said.
The LED-lighted decorations will be powered by gas generators. There will be no vendors of any kind or concession stands on the site this year; visitors will not leave their vehicles, Glaser said.
Board members said they would require the placement of portable lavatories on the site, since people may be traveling long distances to see it. Traffic flow on site would be controlled to ensure access by emergency vehicles if needed, officials said.
The event may be expanded in the future, Glaser told the board.
“Our intention is to establish a sense of tradition for a fun family event,” Glaser said.
“Honestly I think this would be a wonderful tradition for Riverhead,” he said.
Giving people from out of the area a reason to visit Riverhead around the holidays will help local businesses, Glaser said.
“This will be a great draw, a great attraction at a time of year when not that many things are going on.”
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio expressed concerns about off-site traffic impacts, especially at the intersection of Edwards Avenue with the L.I. Expressway exit 71 off-ramp. Giglio noted that the timing of the event coincides with workers leaving the county center and courthouses, as well as with people arriving home from work and exiting the expressway at that exit. Giglio said she is concerned about the impacts of the additional traffic on the intersection and traffic control there may be needed.
Bold Broadcasting will reimburse the town if police need to be deployed to the site, Glaser said.
“Splish Splash brings way more people than we’ll ever come close to,” he said.
The company has submitted a special event permit application to the town, which the board is expected to act on at its meeting Tuesday. Deputy Supervisor Tim Hubbard and Councilwoman Catherine Kent were both absent from today’s meeting due to family vacations.
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