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BID cancels 2020 Cardboard Boat Race due to pandemic

Another one bites the dust. 

The Riverhead Business Improvement District’s Management Association has canceled the popular Cardboard Boat Race for 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was scheduled for Aug. 1 in downtown Riverhead’s Peconic River. 

The BIDMA discussed the fate of the event for a long time but ultimately decided against it, according to BIDMA president Steve Shauger. 

“Logistically speaking, we don’t know what kind of regulations are going to be in place at that point,” he said. “It takes people months and months to get prepared for this, so we didn’t want to keep kicking the can down the road and then end up canceling it, and having a bunch of people with cardboard boats all made up.”

In the wake of COVID-19, new state regulations and federal regulations put in place this year have prohibited large groups of people from congregating, and the cardboard boat race always drew big crowds.

“How do you have that many people crammed on the waterfront in close proximity?” Mr. Shaugher asked. “It is an amazing event and it draws a lot of people. But with the current circumstances it makes it more challenging” to comply with regulations.

The cardboard boat race joins a number of other popular annual events that have been canceled this year due to COVID-19. 

They include the Polish Fair and Festival and BID’s Alive on 25. 

The BIDMA is still hoping to be able to hold some of the other events it has planned for this year, according to Mr. Shauger. 

Several of the “Reflextions: Art in the Park” events slated for Grangebel Park also are still planned, he said.