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Cardboard Boat Race date scheduled along with Art in the Park event


Deawna Harris (back) and Kerri Harris of Dover, Delaware and their team "Return of the Dragonfly" take first place in their heat at the Cardboard Boat Race. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The annual Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race is sticking with August this year for the second consecutive year and it will have some company.

The race is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Peconic Riverfront; last year’s event was held on a Sunday.

The races will coincide with a new event called Art in the Park, which will take place on the weekend of Aug. 10- 12 at Grangebel Park and will feature light-inspired art installations.

In addition, Thursday, Aug. 9 is when the final “Alive on 25” event for this summer is scheduled. That event, in its third year, features live bands, food vendors and other entertainment on Main Street on alternating Thursday nights in July and August.

“We’re going to work on a marketing plan to put all that together,” said Diane Tucci, the executive director of the Business Improvement District Management Association.

The cardboard boat race has been one of the most popular events downtown but in 2015, it was pushed back from its normal July date to August due to a fish kill that killed off bunker fish in droves in the Peconic Bay system.

In 2016, the event was ultimately canceled due to fear of a fish kill which didn’t happen, and last year, it was scheduled in August from the start and went off without problems. (A group did get together on their own with cardboard boats in 2016 to host their own event dubbed as an “outlaw cardboard boat race.”)

Ms. Tucci said they are going with an August date this year to avoid a possible fish kill as well as to ensure that the race takes place at high tide.

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, the BIDMA, Riverhead Town and the East Hampton YMCA are sponsors of the event. The YMCA will be running a new event, a rubber duck race, Ms. Tucci said.

While there’s no YMCA in Riverhead, the East Hampton YMCA has been a sponsor of events in the Riverhead area in recent years, such as the rock climbing wall at Alive on 25 and the Flanders Food Truck Festival, and its executive director, Glenn Vickers, is a member of the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Tucci said.

“The YMCA is taking a larger role so we’ll get more family-friendly events,” BIDMA president Steve Shauger said.

The cardboard boat race starts at noon and registration starts at 9 a.m. and participants will be able to pre-register on the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce website, Mr. Tucci said.

Photo caption: Deawna Harris (back) and Kerri Harris of Dover, Delaware and their team “Return of the Dragonfly” take first place in their heat at the 2015 Cardboard Boat Race. (Credit: Vera Chinese, file)

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