Fireworks lit up the sky in downtown Riverhead July 1, 2022 at Alive on 25 street festival. Photo: Diane Tucci

Downtown Riverhead’s popular summer street festival Alive on 25 will debut this year on Friday, June 30, capped off with a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day.

The Riverhead BID is planning a total of four Alive on 25 events, all to take place on Friday nights again this year. The scheduled dates, in addition to June 30, are July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11, with a series rain date of Aug. 18.

The event, originally held on Thursdays, was switched to Friday evenings last year and the change was a success, according to Riverhead BID Management Association President Steven Shauger and Executive Director Kristy Verity. Downtown businesses, event vendors and the public all preferred Fridays to Thursdays, Shauger and Verity told BIDMA board members at last night’s board meeting.

“People liked it. They didn’t have to get up for work the next day,” Verity said.

“Vendors liked it as well. There definitely was more people that attended on the Fridays,” Shauger said.

Alive on 25, initiated in 2016, is in its eighth season. The event features live music on multiple stages along Main Street, street dining, a “kids zone” featuring activities and games for children, and, on three of the four dates, a classic car show. (The car show, staged on Peconic Avenue, does not take place on the night of the BID’s fireworks show.)

The BID has a full card of downtown events planned this season.

“Reflextions: Art in the Park,” which the BID co-hosts with East End Tourism Alliance, is planned for Grangebel Park on four dates: Saturday, June 17; Saturday July 21; Friday, Aug. 19; and Saturday, Sept. 30, when the event will feature an Oktoberfest celebration.

Cardboard boats will set sail on the Peconic River Saturday, Aug. 5, for the perennially crowd-pleasing Cardboard Boat Races, co-hosted by the BID and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce on the Peconic Riverfront. (Rain date for this event is Saturday, Aug. 12.)

The Halloween Fest is planned for Saturday Oct. 21 beginning with Coffin Races on Griffing Avenue in the afternoon, followed by trick-or-treating on Main Street, and the after-dark “spooktacular” Halloween Parade on Main Street, with after-parade entertainment and awards ceremony on the showmobile in the riverfront parking lot.

The BID’s calendar of downtown events wraps up in December with the annual holiday parade and bonfire on Saturday, Dec. 9, co-hosted with Riverhead Lion’s Club.

Shauger and Verity will present the proposed schedule of events to the Town Board at today’s work session.

The Town Board is the governing body of the Riverhead BID, a special tax district in the downtown area. The town has a contract with the BID Management Association, which produces downtown events and manages special projects downtown, funded in whole or in part by money raised by property taxes paid by owners in the district. The BIDMA, a nonprofit corporation, is managed by a volunteer board of directors and has three part-time employees: its executive director, an “ambassador,” and a new hire starting in April, a social media manager.

The Town Board sets the BID’s annual budget and approves its schedule of events and special projects, which in the past have included items such as lighting and streetscape improvements.

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