‘Dine on 25’ will come alive in July and August

“Dine on 25,” the event Riverhead Town officials are planning as a replacement for the annual “Alive on 25,” is scheduled to take place on four Thursday’s beginning July 16, according to Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller.

The town is working with the Riverhead Business Improvement District and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce to bring the new program to Main Street.

Additional dates are July 30, Aug. 13 and Aug. 27.

Whereas ‘Alive on 25’ shut down Main Street in downtown Riverhead and featured live bands and vendors who often came from out-of-town, ‘Dine on 25’ will close off Main Street between the Salvation Army and Roanoke Avenue and put seats in the street so that local restaurants and merchants can sell their products.

‘Alive on 25’ was canceled this year because the state had banned large events in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“The restaurants will have chairs outside and people can take out food, or they they can go to the riverfront and eat at the picnic tables,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent said there also might be acoustic music at ‘Dine on 25.’ 

The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Chief Hegermiller said. The town won’t be using highway department trucks to barricade the roads, as it has done for large events in the past, he said. 

“The theory on the highway truck is that nobody is going to really want to sit next to the highway truck and have dinner,” Chief Hegermiller said. “We are looking to use water barricades at this point.”

The chief said there also will be a cost to the police department from ‘Dine on 25,’ but it won’t be as much of a cost as ‘Alive on 25.’ 

‘Alive on 25’ cost the police department about $15,000 per night, which never was reimbursed, and which Chief Hegermiller says he wasn’t expecting to be reimbursed. 

‘Dine on 25’ is expected to cost police about $5,000 per night. He said he doesn’t expect reimbursement from that event, either.

“It’s a lot less than ‘Alive on 25,’ but it’s still an expenditure,” he said. 

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the recent protests also have cost the police department almost $10,000 in overtime, and another protest is scheduled for the Fourth of July, which will result in holiday and overtime pay, she said. 

“The police department is struggling, is what I’m trying to say,” she said.