“Alive on 25” won’t be happening this year, but “Dine on 25” might.
The Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association is hoping to replace the popular outdoor event in downtown Riverhead with a more laid back version.
The BIDMA discussed the events at a virtual meeting Wednesday.
“Alive on 25 is not going on as it has in the past, so rather than just cancel the event and disappointing people, we wanted to see what we can do to replace Alive on 25 with something different,” said Kristy Verity, the BIDMA’s executive director. “So we came up with the idea of ‘Dine on 25.’”
“Dine on 25” would involve closing Main Street to traffic, but instead of having out of town vendors, it would be for downtown businesses only. Downtown restaurants could place outdoor seating on Main Street and serve customers there.
Reservations would be needed, according to BIDMA President Steve Shauger.
“Alive on 25,” like many large events, could not go forward this year because the state had banned large events in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “Alive on 25” featured live bands and various food and other vendors on Main Street for four Thursdays in July and August.
The BIDMA had already reduced the scope of this year’s “Alive on 25” from four events to two.
But Ms. Verity said the BIDMA is now planning to bump it back up to four events for “Dine on 25,” and is hoping to have the first one on July 2, which was when “Alive on 25” was scheduled to begin.
BIDMA also has discussed having more low-key music and possibly children’s entertainment at “Dine on 25.”
“We do believe that people are kind of itching to get out,” Ms. Verity said.
“I think it’s great,” said BIDMA member Sean Kenna, who is an owner of Cucina 25 and Craft’d, both on Main Street.
“People are in that ‘support your local restaurant’ mode,” said BIDMA member Cheri Wirth of Digger’s.
The State has allowed restaurants to only use 50% of its indoor capacity, but has allowed outdoor dining as a way to make up for the remaining capacity.
Riverhead Town has received more than 35 applications for outdoor seating, according to Supervisor Yvette Aquiar.
Fate of other events
The BIDMA will still have to make a decision on the fate of some of the others events it has planned for this year.
These include the Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race, scheduled for Aug 1; the Halloween Fest, scheduled for Oct. 23 to 25; the Holiday Parade and Bonfire, scheduled for Dec. 12; and a planned Octoberfest in mid-September.
The fireworks show planned for July 2 may be shifted to the Bonfire, officials said.
The BIDMA is keeping the Cardboard Boat Race on its website as an upcoming event for now, Mr. Shaugher said.
“Keep it on as a go for the time being,” he said.
The event is done in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce.