Who Are Those Guys performing in Grangebel Park in July 2015. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Townscape’s Friday Night Concert Series, a summertime staple in downtown Riverhead for many years, is not taking place this year.

“We’re focusing our funds on banners, plantings and hanging baskets,” Riverhead Townscape president Tom Farruggia said today.

The organization was founded during the American bicentennial year of 1976 to beautify downtown Riverhead.

Townscape has hosted the Riverhead Country Fair since then. The fair, initially conceived as a reincarnation, of sorts, of the the Suffolk County fair held in Riverhead from the 1840s until the Great Depression, grew into a major autumn attraction — and a principal fundraiser for Townscape.

Townscape has for many years offered free concerts on Friday evenings in summertime. The concerts have been paid for by local business sponsors. But sponsorship funding for the concert series has dwindled in recent years, Farruggia said.

“We weren’t getting the financial support from the community to continue with the concerts,” he said.

Councilman James Wooten, who took over coordinating the concert series after longtime coordinator Jim Lull stepped aside, said at a town board meeting Tuesday he intends to become involved in fundraising for the concerts for 2020, after he is no longer a sitting member of the town board.

Wooten is sponsoring one concert this summer on his own: a performance by the band Southbound at the Polish Town Civic Association pavilion on Lincoln Street on Aug. 2.

People should bring their own lawn chairs, he said. There is no admission fee but a free-will donation will be taken up with the proceeds to be split between the Polish Town Civic Association and Townscape, Wooten said today.

The concert series was held for the first time at the pavilion last summer. The concerts were staged in Grangebel Park the past several years, relocated from their home of many years on the grounds of East End Arts on the riverfront.

The Riverhead Community Band performing in 2012. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Other free outdoor concerts to enjoy

Fans of outdoor summer concerts can enjoy a concert by the No Doubt World Famous Riverhead Community Band on the lawn of the Pulaski Street School Monday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Reflections: Art in the Park will also present free concerts in Grangebel Park. The Riverhead High School jazz band will perform on July 18 and the band Road Trip will perform on Aug. 1 and Aug. 16.

The North Shore Community Band presents its annual summer “Music by the Ponds” concert series on Saturday, July 20 and Saturday July 27 at 7 p.m. on the lawn of the Wading River Congregational Church on North Country Road in Wading River.

The Summer Showcase Concert Series takes place on Wednesday evenings through Aug. 28 at Silversmith’s Corner, 54545 Main Road in Southold.

Mitchell Park in Greenport hosts free Dancing in the Park concerts every Monday night through Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Fans of Sound Symphony Orchestra, a centerpiece of the Townscape concert series for many years, can enjoy a free Sound Symphony Orchestra performance at the Westhampton Beach Village Green, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

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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.