Fireworks will light up the sky downtown on July 2. File photo: Tom Lambui

Break out your lederhosen — downtown Riverhead will host an Oktoberfest for the first time this year. The new event will be added to the roster of other popular downtown events for 2020. 

Oktoberfest will be held in Grangebel Park on Sept. 12 and 13, the same weekend as a Reflextions Art in the Park event. Oktoberfest will feature drinks and food from local breweries and restaurants, traditional German garb like lederhosen and activities. 

The event is being sponsored by East End Tourist Alliance in collaboration with Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association. The alliance was given a $187,500 grant to support events in five East End towns.

BID Management Association president Steven Shauger and executive director Kristy Verity outlined the organization’s event plans for 2020 at the town board’s work session this morning.

Kids enjoyed a bubble machine at in 2018. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Alive on 25 will return again this year — but reduced to just two dates, with one offering lots of kid-friendly activities.

The first Alive on 25, on July 2, will feature a fireworks display to celebrate the Fourth of July. The second, on Aug. 13, will feature a special “Kids Zone” on Peconic Avenue dedicated to kid-friendly activities, The “Kids Zone” will be a collaboration between Riverhead BID, local businesses such as L.I. Science Center and organizations such as scout troops. 

Verity said the BIDMA decided to reduce the number of Alive on 25 Events to favor quality over quantity. 

“We noticed over the course of the four events last year, that the last few became kind of diluted. The attendance was very low,” Verity said. “We surveyed the vendors, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the town and local business owners as well and we were looking to kind of scale it back.” 

The change to Alive on 25, the addition of Oktoberfest and return of community favorites are all aimed draw more people into town and have events for local residents, Verity said.

“The Cardboard Boat Races, Coffin Races and Halloween Fest were a big draw for people outside of Riverhead as well,” she said. “The businesses in town did really well. We really want to focus on the quality of events that we are doing and bring more activities.”

RiverheadLOCAL file photo

2020 schedule of downtown events

Thursday, July 2 — Alive on 25 (Fireworks)
Saturday, Aug. 1 — Cardboard Boat Race (rain date Aug. 2)
Saturday, July 18 — Reflextions Art in the Park
Thursday Aug. 13 — Alive on 25 (“Kids Zone”) and Reflextions Art in the Park
Thursday, Aug. 27 — Alive on 25 rain date
Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13 — Oktoberfest and Reflextions Art in the Park
Saturday, Oct. 24 — Halloween Fest, Coffin Races, and Reflextions Art in the Park
Saturday Dec. 12 — Holiday Bonfire

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Julia-Anna Searson
Julia-Anna is a Riverhead native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, with a degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. She currently lives in Cutchogue.