Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar with County Executive Steve Bellone at Snowflake Ice Cream on West Main Street this afternoon. Photo: Denise Civiletti

County Executive Steve Bellone got his first taste of Snowflake Ice Cream today. The county exec toured Suffolk downtowns on the first day of Phase Two and stopped at the Riverhead ice cream shop on West Main Street for a chocolate soft-serve with chocolate sprinkles.

Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and Police Chief David Hegermiller met the county executive for an ice cream break. The supervisor had a vanilla/chocolate swirl with rainbow sprinkles and the chief opted for the Snowflake flavor of the week, mint Oreo.

Also on hand to greet Bellone were Business Improvement District Management Association president Steve Shauger and Bryan DeLuca of Atlantis Holdings.

“There’s a different energy today,” Bellone said. “People are getting out, going to stores, getting haircuts. It feels good.”

The county executive had visited Huntington, Smithtown, Wyandanch and Port Jefferson before coming to Riverhead. Patchogue was his next stop, he said.

Bellone said he got a haircut in Wyandanch, had lunch in Smithtown, came to Riverhead for ice cream and was meeting Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri for a beer at a local brewery.

“We’re in Phase Two. We’re only halfway there,” Aguiar said. “We have to be cautious.” People are very excited to get back to work and resume a more normal life, she said.

The supervisor was on the job just nine weeks before the coronavirus outbreak struck and the whole world turned upside down for everyone. It’s been a baptism by fire for the new supervisor, who never before held elective office.

“We’re finally getting our town back,” Aguiar said.

She said the BID and the Chamber of Commerce are working together on ideas for events, which could include drive-in movies and a concert.

Shauger said restrictions on large gatherings will make the BID’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display, which draws a huge crowd to the riverfront, impossible this year. The organization is in discussion with the fireworks company about having a display later in the year, perhaps in conjunction with another BID event, Shauger said. The BID is also thinking about how the Alive on 25 events and the cardboard boat races can be restructured so they can take place even with social distancing restrictions in effect.

“You have to be creative and smart,” Aguiar said, expressing confidence that Riverhead will rise to the challenge.

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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.