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Riverhead Country Fair debates ‘beer pens’

The 43rd annual Riverhead Country Fair is slated for Sunday, Oct. 7, and there will be no rain date, according to Tom Farruggia, president of Riverhead Townscape, the nonprofit that runs the fair every year.

Last year’s fair was held despite heavy rains. 

Changes for this year include the fact that Townscape will carry its own insurance for the event rather than use Riverhead Town’s insurance as a co-sponsor, which was done last year.

The fair also won’t have the Riverhead Rotary on board to sell beer, as it has in prior years, according to Mr. Farruggia. Only restaurants located on Main Street will be allowed to sell beer, which they must serve in self-identifying cups.

Town officials are debating whether to require the fair to set up fenced off “beer pens” and to require people drinking alcoholic beverages to do so only in those areas.  

The town already requires beer pens for Alive on 25, but officials said the Country Fair is a more family-oriented event.

Town Board members said they wanted input from the police department and the Riverhead Community Awareness Program before deciding on any beer open requirements for the fair as well. 

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Photo caption: A scene from a previous Riverhead Country Fair. (File photo)