Halloween lovers will want to make sure to be in Riverhead the weekend before All Hallows’ Eve.
A plethora of complimentary spooktacular happenings will be held from Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27 as part of Halloween Fest Riverhead, presented by the Riverhead Business Improvement District.
“In Riverhead, we work hard to offer extraordinary free community events throughout the seasons,” Kristy Verity, Executive Director, Downtown Riverhead Business Improvement District, noted. “Halloween Fest is a wonderful Downtown celebration that delivers a fun, safe Halloween experience to our town and we welcome everyone to visit for an experience unlike any other on Long Island.”
The annual three-day affair will commence with a free screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – costumes encouraged, of course, at The Suffolk Theater on Friday at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, the spine-chillingly fun activities will begin at 8 a.m. with the Run for the Ridley 5K, a great chance to run or walk off some of that Halloween candy in support of The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. Little ones will not want to miss the Long Island Aquarium’s Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Those that plan on partaking in the Coffin Race must check-in at 2 p.m. and then the jaw-dropping Coffin Race action will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. in front of the courthouse. Those interested in participating in the Coffin Races must have a team of four costumed runners and one rider. Coffin specifications may be found on Halloween Fest’s website. Also at 3 p.m., Vail-Leavitt Music Hall will present Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the play). Trick or treating along Main Street – from Griffing Hardware to the Long Island Aquarium – will take place from 4 to 6 p.m.
Then it’s time to show off the impressive array of ensembles, as the Grand Halloween Costume Parade line-up begins on Griffing Avenue at 6 p.m., with a parade start time of 7 p.m. Parade participants must register by Wednesday, October 23. The march will head south to Main Street, then move east and finally loop around to the Town of Riverhead Showmobile stationed at the Peconic Riverfront Park. Once at the Park, local theater groups, including a special Peconic Ballet Theater Thriller performance, and community members will amuse the crowd. There will also be parade cash prizes for Best Costume, Best Decorated Car, and more.
The highly popular Reflextions: Art in the Park at Grangebel Park will return for Halloween Fest. Starting at dusk (6 p.m.), festival-goers can admire the walkable light art and fire display, which will encompass some special Halloween-themed sights.
If you missed the first Dracula at Vail-Leavitt, there’s another showing at 8 p.m. Programming will wrap up with the Long Island Aquarium’s Masquerade Ball at 8 p.m. and a comedy show, headlined by Bob Saget, at Suffolk Theater at 8 p.m. The Aquarium soiree will boast an open bar, DJ, dancing, and prizes for Best Costume and Masquerade Attire.
“Not only bonding both forks, Riverhead is flourishing as the Eastern Long Island mecca to Eat, Stay, Play,” Verity noted. “Our downtown offers rich history, parks, riverfront, family friendly activities, and hotels and restaurants that embrace East End living and invite Long Island tourism.”
On Sunday, there will be one more chance to see Dracula the Play at 3 p.m.
“Like all of our events, Halloween Fest aims to give something to everyone, and we invite all to come dressed in their Halloween best for a great day Downtown,” Verity added.
Some events, like the Masquerade Ball, comedy show, and Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party, do require a purchased ticket to attend.
For more information, visit halloweenfestriverhead.com.