A weekend on the Peconic River: Sunday Scene

Boats docked on the Peconic River near sunset Wednesday.

Boats docked on the Peconic River near sunset Wednesday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

This week’s Sunday Scene comes to you from the Peconic River in Riverhead.

The 39th annual Riverhead Country Fair heads to town Sunday, and downtown and the riverfront will be filled with visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

But long before the festivities kick off, five days or so before the day of the fair, local boaters start arriving to assure a place on the 60 slip town-owned dock on the Peconic Riverfront. It costs $25 for an overnight stay and there is no charge just for the day if you can find an empty slip. A large contingency of the boaters come from the Moose Lodge in Riverhead.

Michael Sinning of Flanders came down to the Peconic Riverfront dock on Wednesday on his 36 foot Chris Craft with his three-year-old dog Gump to claim his dock space for this year’s fair.

“This is just great. We go to breakfast at the diner, go to work, then go to other restaurants for dinner and sometimes we cook on the boat,” he said, adding that he loves seeing the old tractors. “We have a good time in downtown Riverhead.”

Lois-Ellen and Michael Castillo of Wading River also arrived on Wednesday at the docks in their 33-foot-long Carver ‘Lois-Ellen’ with their dog Misstea. Michael Castillo said have been coming by boat for about 10 years “because it beats the hell of trying to find a place to park somewhere”.

“You have a place to hang out and relax. The family comes down, walks around and comes on the boat to eat. It gives you a place to stop and rest and you don’t have to fight the traffic,” Ms. Castillo added.

Diane and Wayne Dedicke of Calverton arrived on the 37-foot-long Silverton ‘Timber Toy IV’ Tuesday with their niece Sydney Palmer and dogs Molly and Breeze. They are diehard fair-goers and have been coming by boat since 1992.

“It’s like having a mini-vacation 3 miles from home,” Diane Dedicke said.

The fair kicks off today at 10 a.m. with vendors, carnival rides, live entertainment, art, a business expo, tractor pulls, public service displays and plenty of food, as well as agricultural, homemaking and needlework exhibits. The always-popular pumpkin and gourd decorating contest will also take place.

Maggie Bender of Calverton on her brother Charlie Bender's boat waiting for family and friend's to come and "raft-up" Wednesday afternoon.

Maggie Bender of Calverton on her brother Charlie Bender’s boat waiting for family and friend’s to come and “raft-up” Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Sinning of Flanders with his dog Gump.

Michael Sinning of Flanders with his dog Gump.

The tranquil Peconic Riverfront.

The tranquil Peconic Riverfront.

Lois-Ellen and Michael Castillo of Wading River with their dog Misstea.

Lois-Ellen and Michael Castillo of Wading River with their dog Misstea.

The tranquil Peconic Riverfront.

The tranquil Peconic Riverfront.

Diane and Wayne Dedicke of Calverton with their niece Sydney Palmer and dogs Molly and Breeze.

Diane and Wayne Dedicke of Calverton with their niece Sydney Palmer and dogs Molly and Breeze.