Top Stories 2016: Festivals get canceled, but first Alive on 25 thrives

Alive on 25

For the most part, 2016 wasn’t a good year to be a festival in Riverhead Town.

The Riverhead Country Fair was canceled for the first time in its 41-year history thanks to a torrential downpour. Nile Rodgers’ FOLD Festival was also shelved.

The latter event had been scheduled for three days in August at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead and would have featured performers like Bette Midler, KC and the Sunshine Band and Earth, Wind and Fire. Mr. Rodgers didn’t provide a reason for canceling the festival and later relocated a version of it to Forest Hills, Queens, as a one-day event.

In 2015, a two-day FOLD Festival brought big-name performers like Pharrell Williams, Keith Urban and Beck to the North Fork.

Another festival nixed this year was downtown Riverhead’s popular Cardboard Boat Race. That event was canceled due to fears of a second Peconic River fish kill, which ultimately didn’t transpire.

The third annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival in downtown Riverhead was also canceled. It was later revived at the last minute by the Business Improvement District, which hosted a similar event.

Not everything met the chopping block in 2016. The BIDMA’s new bi-weekly “Alive on 25” festival in downtown Riverhead proved to be very popular — and potential rain clouds even gave way to nice weather on the event’s first day.

File photo: Alive on 25 in Riverhead.