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Coffin race confirmed to return for Halloween Festival Oct. 26

The coffin race is back!

A group of volunteers led by Kevin Zaneski of Aquebogue has agreed to run the race in this year’s Halloween Festival organized by the Riverhead Business Improvement District.

Kristy Verity, the executive director of the BID’s management association, confirmed that and said a press release would be forthcoming.

The BID first held the coffin races in 2017. It had been planned for a Sunday on Griffing Avenue that year until a rainstorm forced it to be moved up a day and to downtown.

Last year, it was rained out again, but there was no rain-out date.

This year, the BID is proposing to have the coffin races and the Halloween Festival on Saturday, Oct. 26, with a rain date of Oct. 27. The race will take place on Griffing Avenue, so there will be no flooding concerns, according to Diane Tucci, the BID’s former executive director, who brought the first coffin race to the town in 2017 and was determined to bring it back this year.

“I will be lead point person for the coffin race and the Halloween parade and I’ve found a crew of people who will make sure this thing happens,” Ms. Tucci said. “Kevin Zaneski and his group will act as lead for all the organizing of the race and executing it that day, as well as any kind of rain dates.”

“It’s good for the town,” said Mr. Zaneski, who was one of the founders of the popular cardboard boat race in downtown Riverhead. He said he only took over the role of leading the coffin races this week and that it’s in the early stages. He said his committee will probably have six to eight people in it.

Steve Shauger, the president of the BID management association, said last month that the Halloween Festival will have the parade, the trick-or-treating and the street light decorations but that they were looking for a group of volunteers to run the coffin race.

Ms. Tucci urged anyone interested in working on the race to call her office at 631-209-4244 or email her at [email protected].

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