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Get your coffins ready! Halloween Fest set for Oct. 26-28 in downtown Riverhead

Racers worked for weeks building and decorating their custom coffins. Photo: Courtney Blasl.

Coffin Races are returning to downtown Riverhead for Halloween this year.

The races made their debut last year and were an instant smash hit, drawing lots of race teams and huge crowds of spectators.

The event takes place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 on the Peconic Riverfront.

Each race team is required to have four costumed runners and one rider. There will be cash prizes and awards for best costumes, team sprit and more.

The race is limited to the first 30 pre-registered teams. Register here. Coffin construction rules and specs are available on the Halloween Festival website.

Photos: John Neely

The coffin races are part of downtown Riverhead’s annual Halloween Festival Weekend. The Halloween festival also includes the after-dark Grand Halloween Parade on Main Street, a special screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Suffolk Theater Friday night, a costume party for kids at the aquarium Saturday, trick-or-treating on Main Street Saturday afternoon, pumpkin carving, a jack o’lantern walk, and a masquerade ball at the aquarium Saturday night — plus a lamp post decorating contest and Halloween specials at downtown restaurants.

The Halloween parade on Main Street, now in its fifth year, draws large crowds to Main Street to watch the spooky floats, zombie dancers and monsters make their way east from Griffing Avenue, ending with a parade show on the Peconic Riverfront. The parade steps off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Parade participation also requires pre-registration. (See the Halloween Festival website for the registration form and more information.)


Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.