Town Board gives BID informal approval for New Year’s Eve fireworks show

The Riverhead Business Improvement District’s Management Association has been given informal approval from the Riverhead Town Board to hold a fireworks show on New York’s Eve on Grangebel Park. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most of the rest of the special events the BIDMA and other nonprofit organizations planned for 2020 have been canceled to avoid having large crowds that could potentially spread COVID-19. 

The BID had planned to have the fireworks show around the Fourth of July, when it was part of Alive on 25. 

That was postponed, but the BID still had some money left over that it needs to spend.

“We’re looking to make it a little more family friendly,” said BIDMA president Steve Shaugher. “So we want to open it a little earlier, at 8 p.m.”

The BIDMA had considered moving the launch site for the fireworks to the downtown riverfront, but the fireworks company felt that would be too close to buildings. 

Mr. Shauger said BIDMA is still working out the logistics on things like how to apply social distancing and deciding whether to require that people stay in their cars and watch the show.

“I think it’s a great idea, so long as they stay in their cars,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said. “Even if they do get out of their cars, they just have to maintain social distancing.”

The BIDMA is hoping people who watch the fireworks also will support downtown businesses and restaurants, Mr. Shaugher said. 

“That would be much appreciated because these businesses are putting funds toward these events,” he said. 

Ms. Aguiar said the town also will need to extend its regulation allowing outdoor dining to Jan. 1. The town allows outdoor dining through Dec. 30. The town may also want to allow outdoor dining permanently, she said. 

“I love the idea of the fireworks,” said Councilman Frank Beyrodt. “You can enjoy that any time of the year regardless of the weather. I think it’s going to be a great event.”