The cardboard boat race on the Peconic River is set to return to Riverhead this summer.
Organizers of the town-sponsored event have chosen Sunday, Aug. 6, as the tentative date. The Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association will co-sponsor the race and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce will help with registration and provide volunteers, BIDMA executive director Diane Tucci said Friday.
Last year, after concern about a bunker fish kill led to a rescheduling, the event was ultimately canceled. A make-up date was never set because of a shortage of volunteers. In late July, after the formal cancellation, a group of diehard racers took it upon themselves to host their own event at the riverfront. In 2015, the event had been pushed back from June to August because of a fish kill.
The first hurdle organizers jumped in choosing this summer’s date was checking the summer tide tables with the help of Lighthouse Marina, Ms. Tucci said. The river will be at high tide during race time.
This avoids issues related to the bunker fish, she said, and the event will happen rain or shine.
“Moving the date later in the summer takes care of a whole host of issues,” Riverhead Councilman Jim Wooten said Monday, adding that it’s the “perfect time in the summer,” steering clear of environmental and tide concerns, as well as other townwide weekend events.
The Riverhead Town Board still needs to vote on a resolution to officially set the date, he said.
This will be Ms. Tucci’s first time helping to organize the race.
“I’m really excited to see the event for the community,” she said. “This is probably one of the most beloved events downtown, so I’m just really glad we’re going to be able to do it.”
Riverhead Chamber of Commerce president Bob Kern called the race a “great community effort” and said he’s glad his organization is involved this year.
“Just come out for an amazing time,” he advised.
The race was first held in downtown Riverhead in 2010.