11/08/14 2:11pm
11/08/2014 2:11 PM
Riverhead Farmers Market organizer Holly Browder and Riverhead BID president Ray Pickersgill. Credit: Vera Chinese, file)

Riverhead Farmers Market organizer Holly Browder and Riverhead BID president Ray Pickersgill. Credit: Vera Chinese, file)

The indoor Riverhead Farmers Market, one of the few weekly East End markets open through winter, will be open an extra day per week starting Nov. 16.

Read more details on northforker.com

07/17/14 9:37am
07/17/2014 9:37 AM
Sal St. George making his Edgar Allen Poe Festival pitch to business leaders in Riverhead Town Hall Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Sal St. George making his Edgar Allan Poe Festival pitch to business leaders in Riverhead Town Hall Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Port Jefferson has hosted a Charles Dickens Festival around Christmastime for the past 13 years. And now, the man who has been instrumental in the success of that event, wants to do something similar in downtown Riverhead: an Edgar Allan Poe Festival. (more…)

07/04/14 6:00pm
07/04/2014 6:00 PM
(Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

(Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

The Riverhead Business Improvement District’s annual fireworks show has been canceled due to the rain.

“The weather was just too bad,” said BID past president Ray Pickersgill. “We were told by Bay Fireworks and the Fire Marshal’s office that if the wind was too strong we couldn’t do it. I think the ground is a little shaky because of all the rain, too.”

Ultimately, it was a town fire marshal who made the call, BID vice president Martin Sendlewski said in an email.

The 6 p.m. pre-fireworks concert was canceled earlier Friday, according to the BID.

Mr. Pickersgill said the fireworks will be rescheduled for a later date that has not yet been determined.

 

 

06/29/14 7:03pm
06/29/2014 7:03 PM
The crew of the Speedie Edie celebrates its victory down the home stretch of the team's heat of the Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race in downtown Riverhead Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The crew of the Speedie Edie celebrates its victory down the home stretch of the team’s heat of the Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race in downtown Riverhead Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

With seven kids and two adults on board, it’s hard to imagine the crew of Speedy Edie fitting another person in their boat.

But if you ask the nine passengers what it was that willed them to victory in their heat of the “anything goes” race at the Fifth Annual Carboard Boat Races in downtown Riverhead Sunday, they’ll tell you it was the 10th member of their team: Edie.

Edie Penny of West Islip passed away Saturday. A grandmother to some on the boat, a cousin and friend to others, she was looking forward to the annual Cardboard Boat Race, which her friends and family members, some from Cutchogue, have participated in each of the past three years.  (more…)

06/19/14 8:24am
06/19/2014 8:24 AM
Deputy Town Attorney Dan McCormick, center,  explains the BID bylaws on elections to BID management association members Wednesday night. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Deputy Town Attorney Dan McCormick, center, explains the BID bylaws on elections to BID management association members Wednesday night. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Electing two candidates to two unopposed seats on a board and two more candidates to two opposed positions on that same board shouldn’t be hard, right?

But when that election is the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association’s annual elections, the answer to that question is “wrong.”  (more…)

01/18/14 6:00pm
01/18/2014 6:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | An indoor farmers market will start Feb. 1 inside the former Swezey’s building in downtown Riverhead.

An indoor farmers market appears headed for downtown Riverhead next month.

Ray Pickersgill, president of the Riverhead Business Improvement District, said a number of farmers have already committed to the market, which is slated to be in the former Swezey’s building on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 16 weeks.

The Riverhead Town Board is expected to formally give its approval Wednesday. The BID Management Association gave its approval last Wednesday.

Mr. Pickersgill suggested the farmers market is a better value that Trader Joe’s, the popular health food store that some residents have been trying to attract to Riverhead.

“We have such a diversity of farmers. If you go to Trader Joe’s, you’re not going to find some of the stuff we have,” Mr. Pickersgill said in an interview. “We have a meat guy, we have an oyster guy, we have yogurt people, we have a guy who makes empanadas. We have everything covered. We actually have more vendors than we have room for.”

He said he’s hoping that if the market takes off, it can be expanded to more days or possibly year-round, since some farmers don’t have farmstands.

The target date to open is Feb. 1.

The eastern half of the Swezey’s building is owned by Riverhead Enterprises, which owns several buildings downtown, and the BID will lease the building from them for $3,000 for the 16 days. (The western, and main, half of the former Swezey’s store is owned by someone else.)

Many of the markets committed to joining in Riverhead used to participate in a farmers market in Sag Harbor, which isn’t taking place this year.

“Generally, there is an indoor winter farmers market somewhere on the End End, that ends before Memorial Day, when all of the outdoor markets open,” said Chris Kempner, who heads the town’s Community Development office.

Ms. Kempner said she spoke with Holly Browder of Browder’s Birds, a poultry farmer from Mattituck who had participated in the Sag Harbor market, and the idea came up to have one in downtown Riverhead.

“There’s considerable interest from all the vendors that participate,” Ms. Kempner said at Thursday’s Town Board work session.

She said Mr. Pickersgill suggested it be in one of the downtown buildings, and he began speaking with Riverhead Enterpise about 117 East Main, she said.

“I think it fits in with the whole East End tourism goal of promoting tourism past November,” Ms. Browder told the Town Board Thursday. “A lot of us small farmers need to make money year-round.”

She said many small farmers on the East End are committed to working year-round.

Vendors will pay a fee of either $150 for the full 16 weeks, $100 for 10 weeks or $25 per week to participate.

The Riverhead Farmers Market, as it’s being called, already has a Facebook site up, and that site had more than 440 “likes” in two days.

“We had the first meeting about this last Wednesday (Jan. 8) and it kind of took off like a freight train,” Ms. Kempner told the Town Board Thursday.

tgannon@timesreview.com

01/15/14 8:42pm
01/15/2014 8:42 PM
Andrea storm Riverhead

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Heidi Behr Way in downtown Riverhead’s riverfront park.

A proposal to have a barbecue cooking contest and blues festival along the Peconic River on Labor Day weekend got a chilly reception from the president of the Riverhead Business Improvement District’s management association Wednesday.

John Barci, who identified himself as being from Absolute Webb Advertising, is pitching a plan for a Blues, Brew Barbecue and Bacon Festival to be held in downtown Riverhead along the waterfront on Aug. 30-31.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Salon owner Ray Pickersgill (left) hears a pitch for a barbecue contest and music festival from John Barci at Wednesday night's BID management association meeting.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Salon owner Ray Pickersgill (left) hears a pitch for a barbecue contest from John Barci.

The local event would be part of the annual Empire State Barbecue Championship circuit and Mr. Barci hopes it can join with existing barbecue contests in Manorville and Brentwood to form a “triple crown” of Suffolk County barbecue contests.

The idea didn’t sit well with BID president Ray Pickersgill, who said that downtown events like the Blues Festival previously held in Riverhead don’t help businesses there.

“As a business owner, when you have a two-day event, I have to shut my business for two days,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

He said businesses that sell beer or food will be particularly angered by this proposal because it will compete with their businesses.

“I can tell you right now, they are going to scream and yell and carry on,” he said with the restaurateurs.

Mr. Pickersgill said the Riverhead Blue Festival that had been held downtown for many years was not popular with merchants there.

He suggested Mr. Barci consider a different location, like Polish Town, land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton or a large farm property like Martha Clara.

Mr. Barci said he didn’t consider other spots because he wanted to bring the festival to downtown Riverhead. He said he thought it would help businesses there.

“I think it’s a good event for Riverhead,” said BID board member Isabelle Gonzalez.

“I’ve always thought downtown events were positive,” said BID member Martin Sendlewski, who is an architect, though said he doesn’t own a restaurant or the type of business that would be effected by a big festival.

“Would you want to shut your business down and lose $3,000 a day?” Mr. Pickersgill, who owns Robert James Salon, asked.

“I’d figure out something to sell and make money off it,” Mr. Sendlewski responded.

“I tried that. It didn’t work,” Mr. Pickersgill said. He said one year he stayed open during the Country Fair and two older ladies had to walk all the way from the Suffolk County National Bank parking lot on Second Street to get their hair done at his Robert James Salon & Spa on East Main Street.

BID members advised Mr. Barci to speak with some downtown restaurant owners to get feedback from them.

tgannon@timesreview.com