St. Patrick’s Day parade proposed for downtown Riverhead

St. Patricks Day parade

Can Riverhead Town handle two St. Patrick’s Day parades?

One for the Road Event Services is proposing a St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Riverhead on Saturday, March 18. The Emerald Society has planned its fourth annual parade in Jamesport for March 25.

David Lotito of Wading River, the owner of One for the Road Event Services, said he’s also planning a flea market and post-parade party in downtown Riverhead. Money would be raised by selling space to vendors and sponsorships, he said.

In an effort to help local restaurants, he said, vendors won’t offer food.

“I’m well aware that the East End Emerald Society organizes one out in Jamesport as well,” Mr. Lotito told the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association on Wednesday, where he sought feedback on the idea. “But with all due respect to that parade, I feel that this is a tradition that can be had right here in downtown Riverhead.”

Riverhead Town did not have a St. Patrick’s Day parade prior to 2014. A group of Jamesport residents organized the first annual St. Patrick’s Day parade for their neighborhood.

The March 18 date does conflict with the Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day parade, Mr. Lotito said.

He’s proposing to have the downtown parade follow the same route at the Riverhead Lions Club’s Christmas Parade.

The former Sears site — if its still available by the time the parade takes place — as well as the area along the riverfront and Grangebel Park, are possible locations for the flea market and post-parade party, he said.

Mr. Lotito’s company will provide a tent, sound system and other items for live Celtic music performances and other types of music, he said, adding that alcohol will only be sold inside local restaurants.

BIDMA president Steve Shauger asked for a more detailed description of the proposal and a list of needs from the BID before they could make a recommendation.

Final approval would have to come from the Town Board.

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File photo: The 2016 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jamesport. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)