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12/09/12 11:26am
12/09/2012 11:26 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The bonfire Saturday night stretched for 30 feet.

More than 500 people attended the 13th annual Holiday bonfire Saturday night as Santa Claus arrived via boat to greet the children and light the Christmas tree.

The 30-foot long bonfire was fed logs by volunteers Ed Densieski and his daughter Cassie, Ray Dichoff, Gary Joyce, Martin Sendlewski, Dave Young and Joe Densieski. They used two pallets of pine to get the fire started and had 5 cords of hardwood to burn that the town provided.

To keep the holiday spirit going DJ Phil Schmitt Jr. ‘Make Some Noise’ spun the tunes. And as families waited for Santa Claus, there was free hot chocolate with whipped cream and free cookies from the Blue Duck Bakery.

The bonfire, sponsored by the downtown Business Improvement District’s management association, featured Town councilman Jim Wooten as the emcee. The event was the brainchild of former councilman Ed Densieski.

Santa arrived a little after 5 p.m. on a Christmas-lighted boat on the Peconic River captained by Duane Lewin of Aquebogue. He was escorted to the Christmas tree by Mr. Wooten, who led the children in a countdown from 10 to one when Santa flicked the switch to light the tree.

Children waited in line to visit with Santa in the Gingerbread house, tell them their Christmas wishes and have their photo taken.

Around 6:30 p.m. Rabbi William Siemers and congregants from Temple Israel in Riverhead came down to light the Menorah for the first night of Hanukkah.

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02/11/11 12:45pm
02/11/2011 12:45 PM

The Riverhead Business Improvement District on Thursday unveiled its planned schedule of events for this year, as well as how it plans to spend its $141,818 budget.

The downtown taxing district’s management association members plan to spend $15,600 for the Thursday night “Cruise Night” car shows, which will run for 26 weeks over the summer. The money represents about $600 per night for live entertainment, said the BID group’s president, Ray Pickersgill. “It’s been a great thing for the restaurants downtown,” Mr. Pickersgill said of the Cruise Night, which came ot downtown Riverhead after they were kicked out of Wading River.

The second biggest expense is $14,500 for the Fourth fo July concert and fireworks show, which also was very successful last summer, Mr. Pickersgill said, adding that the BID hopes to have Brady Rhymer and his band play again this year.

The BID also is allocating $2,000 for the cardboard boat race, which drew hundreds of spectators and participants downtown in its first year last summer.

Other events being planned include the country and western concert, which made its debut last year, the annual holiday bonfire, an oldies concert, a jazz concert, and an allocation of $3,000 toward the Country Fair, which is run by Townscape. The BID also is allocating $5,000 toward the downtown River and Roots Community Garden, which is proposed for town land on the south side of West Main Street, just north of Grangebel Park.

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