Grangebel Park after dark during Art in the Park/"Reflextions" art and light show in 2018. Photo: Peter Blasl

Two popular summer festivals are ready to return to downtown Riverhead in 2019.

Alive on 25 will make its season debut on Wednesday, July 3 with live music up and down Main Street, entertainment for kids, vendors, food trucks, restaurant specials and a classic car show. The festival’s opening night will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the riverfront.

Alive on 25 will continue on July 18, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15. The festival runs from 5 to about 9:30 each date. There is one rain date for the season: Aug. 22.

Alive on 25 drew thousands to downtown Riverhead July 5, 2018. File photo: Denise Civiletti

July 18 will mark the season debut of “Art in the Park- Reflextions” which lights up Grangebel Park with reflective and lighted art installations. The show wowed visitors in its debut season last summer and promises to do the same in its 2019 encore. “Reflextions” will continue on the Alive on 25 nights on Aug. 1 and Agu. 15, plus on Aug. 16 and 17, Sept. 14 and 28.

This year, Art in the Park will feature “Riverhead Rocks,” a reflective rock art project. Organizers are calling for artists interested in painting rocks for the show. Art in the Park will supply rocks and fluorescent paints. There will be paint nights in the park on the nights of the show as well as on dates beforehand (dates to be announced).

The rocks will fill welded letters — standing three-and-a-half feet high — that will spell out “Riverhead” and glow under black light.

File photo: Denise Civiletti

“You don’t have to be a professional artist. Everyone is welcome to participate,” organizer Diane Tucci said this morning during a presentation to the town board and the public. Rocks can be painted with patterns, designs, images and inspirational messages.

Tucci said the group is starting a social media campaign with the hashtag #RiverheadRocks.

Anyone interested in painting a rock — or organizing a group rock-painting night should call the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce at 631-727-7600. Organizers are also seeking volunteers to help with setup and other tasks. Interested persons should also call the Chamber office.

Art in the Park will have two other major new installations this year: a 10-foot-tall letter “R” made of reflective material, illuminated by floodlights and the word “love” that will have video images projected onto it.

File photo: Denise Civiletti

These new installations will join the artwork created for Art in the Park in 2018, including a giant fish made of more than 3,000 CDs on a steel frame and a giant mermaid.

L.I. Aquarium executive director Bryan DeLuca, Chamber of Commerce president Robert Kern, artist Clayton Orehek and Tucci worked to organize the new art festival.

“It was really well-received,” Tucci said.

“Art in the Park put Grangebel Park on the map,” Councilwoman Catherine Kent said. “A lot of people didn’t know that beautiful park was there.”

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