Two of downtown Riverhead’s most popular events may be merged into one this summer.
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show may be combined with the first installation of the popular Alive on 25 event, according to a recommendation from the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association.
The way the calendar worked out this summer, July 4th is a Wednesday, and Alive on 25, in its third year, is held on four alternating Thursdays in July and August.
This year, the dates for Alive on 25, which features live bands, food vendors and other attractions, are July 5, July 12, July 26 and Aug. 9, with a rain date of Aug. 23.
The BIDMA has traditionally held its Fourth of July festival — which features fireworks, and usually a concert from Grammy-nominated musician Brady Rymer of Southold — on or near July 4th. It’s been held in the Riverfront parking lot and doesn’t require that roads be closed to traffic, as Alive on 25 does.
“We would like to merge the fireworks with the first Alive on 25, as opposed to having a second event,” said Diane Tucci, the BIDMA’s executive director.
She said there was “pretty unanimous support” for the idea during a meeting with downtown business owners earlier this week.
“This will save the BIDMA some expenses and it will save the town the cost of holding one event,” BIDMA president Steve Shauger said.
The idea was unanimously supported by the BIDMA at its meeting Wednesday, but the Town Board also must agree to the idea before it can move ahead.
The BIDMA plan would have the fireworks go off sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. July 5 after Alive on 25 ends, Ms. Tucci said.
It’s not been determined yet if Brady Rymer will perform at the July 5th Alive on 25, Mr. Shauger said. Alive on 25 shuts down Main Street in downtown Riverhead from Ostrander Avenue to Griffing Avenue and features a number of live bands playing in the street at different locations.
The Riverhead Alive on 25 event is modeled after the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce’s Alive after Five, and the Patchogue group has worked with the BIDMA in setting up the Riverhead event.
The two groups have agreed to hold their events on alternate Thursdays, so that the Patchouge event and the Riverhead event never take place on the same night, Mr. Shauger said.
“Our schedule is based off their schedule,” he said.
“Be ready downtown for the first one, because with the fireworks, it’s going to be packed,” said Riverhead Councilman Tim Hubbard, who is the Town Board liaison to the BIDMA. “It’s a great idea and it’s really going to be packed.”
Ms. Tucci said there are logistical issues that need to be worked out with the police and fire marshal, as well.
“We may have an extra 3,000 people on Main Street, because [Alive on 25] in itself packs the area.”
BIDMA member Dee Muma said that traditionally, the event staff begins moving people out once Alive on 25 is over. She said there will need to be good communications to ensure that people arriving for just the fireworks don’t get cleared out.
Photo credit: Rachel Siford/Bill Landon