Riverhead’s Edgar Allan Poe festival ‘don’t miss’ events

Edgar Allan Poe Riverhead

Things are about to get spooky once again in downtown Riverhead for the second annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival.

Plans for the festival are now in full swing, with volunteers, dancers and storytellers all preparing for what organizers hope will be a grand production this weekend.

Here are just a few of the highlights of the festival, which runs Friday, Oct. 30, to Sunday, Nov. 1, that you won’t want to miss.

Local authors will also perform readings of Poe’s works and other spooky tales throughout the day at various Riverhead businesses, so check listings.

Click here for a full list of events. The three-day festival is sponsored by Riverhead Town and the Riverhead BID and is created by St. George Living History Productions.

All events and programs are free, unless otherwise noted. Schedule is subject to change.

Poe Parade

The biggest Halloween parade on Long Island will once again make its way down Riverhead’s Main Street. The march kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. Expect a headless horseman, costumed ghouls, dancers and a flash mob busting out the moves to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Costumes are encouraged.

Ghost Writers’ Play

A one-act play featuring three classic horror writers meeting for the first time to discuss the inspiration for their greatest literary achievements. Bram Stoker (played by David Burt), Mary Shelley (played by Lisa Monde), and Edgar Allan Poe (played by Darren St. George) gather together to explore their fascination in creating macabre tales of “things that go bump in the night.” The play will be held at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Vail Leavitt Music Hall (18 Peconic Ave.)

Poe, Shelley and Stoker will also recite passages from their classic works at the Suffolk County Historical Society (300 W. Main St.) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. This meet-and-greet i​s hosted by Cassandra St. George.

Poe’s Little Monster Masquerade Party

W​ear your Halloween costume to this fun-filled variety show designed for kids of all ages. There will be singing, dancing juggling, games and prizes during the interactive show.

The party kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Vail Leavitt Musical Hall (18 Peconic Ave.)

Rocky Horror at the Suffolk Theater

Grab your toilet paper and toast for a screening of this cult classic on Saturday night. Admission is free with a $20 food and beverage purchase.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. DJ Phil will provide music at the Halloween party following the show.

Costumes are encouraged and will be judged after the show. Prop bags will be available for purchase.

The Suffolk Theater is located at 118 E. Main Street.

The War of the Worlds Broadcast

A radio broadcast of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” will “scare the heck out of everybody,” festival organizer Sal St. George told the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association on Wednesday.

The “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast will take place at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall on Sunday, Nov. 1, and will be the closing show of the three-day festival.

The original Orson Welles radio broadcast of an adaption of H.G. Wells’ novel was done on Halloween in 1938 and caused mass hysteria because many people believed Earth was being invaded by Martians.

But St. George plans to localize the story a bit.

“It would be so easy to pick up Orson Welles’ script and recreate it,” St. George told BID members. “What I want to do is reimagine it and make it a little contemporary.”

Local radio personalities expected to participate include WALK’s Cindy Clifford, WBAZ’s Walker Vreeland, WALK’s David North, WLNG’s Lisa Dabrowski and WRIV’S Bruce Tria.

TOP PHOTO: Edgar Allan Poe, or rather Darren St. George, walks down Riverhead’s Main Street during the 2014 Poe Parade. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)