Featured Story

Bull riding, Mexican festival proposed for Calverton in August

A group called the Mexican Folkloric Dance Society of New York is proposing a “live bull riding rodeo and festival” at Long Island Sports Park in Calverton on Sunday, Aug. 12.

The application, which will come up for a vote before the Riverhead Town Board at its Tuesday meeting, calls for live bull riding, live music, traditional food vendors and the sale of alcoholic beverages, according to the application. The event would run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A resolution was in the packet of draft resolutions reviewed at the Town Board’s work session Thursday, but the board did not discuss it.

The application estimates a crowd of up to 900 over the course of the day, and up to 250 vehicles parked on-site.

Alex Garcia, the director of the dance society, said the event focuses on Mexican traditions and folklore.

“We have traditional Mexican food, we have live bands playing traditional Mariachi music, we have Mexican folk dancing, and we have horse riding and bull riding,” Mr. Garcia said in an interview.

The dance society has hosted similar events in Cranbury, N.J. and Frederick, Md., he said.

The Yonkers-based organization also submitted papers from the Internal Revenue Service confirming that it is a non-profit. As such, they requested in the application that the town waive the special event fee.

Long Island Sports Park, located at the former Calverton Links golf course site on Edwards Avenue, recently received site plan approval from the town Planning Board for the 82-acre property that allows them to hold “recreational activities and events limited to the parking of 193 spaces.”

Any proposed uses other than that, or where an event or use is proposed that will result in more than 193 parking spaces, must get a special event permit from the Town Board.

Long Island Sports Park generally holds events like endurance runs, obstacle courses, mini-golf, paintball, and fitness tournaments, among others.

In the past, they have also held festivals such as a cider festival and a potato festival, among others.

The Town Board last year required them to get an overall site plan approval for the premises, rather than seeking separate approvals for each event.

The Mexican Folkloric Dance Society of New York at proposed a similar event in July 2016, which was was proposed on a farm on Old River Road in Manorville.

That proposal never took place. Ms. Garcia said they were told that location was too dangerous.

Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said in an interview Friday that she supports the proposal so long as they comply with the requirements of the town code on special events.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she’s still doing research on the application but said that if the applicant is paying for all the town services used at the event, and they have all the necessary approvals, she will support it.

Councilman Tim Hubbard said he’s unsure how he’s going to vote.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent couldn’t be reached for comment, and Councilman Jim Wooten was not present at the work session.

[email protected]