If watching a parade of jaw-dropping cars go by is something of a spectator sport on the East End, then Thursday nights in Riverhead are a weekly Super Bowl and World Series in one. Since we’re talking Classic Cruise Nights, let’s throw a little Daytona 500 in there, too—just with a whole lot better view.
In 2010, the Riverhead Business Improvement District (BID) began hosting the gathering of classic cars enthusiasts and their prized autos along the beautiful Peconic Riverfront, and the enthusiastic turnout has turned every Thursday evening from May through October into a celebration of historic cars and this historic downtown area. With upwards of 150 cars showing up on any given night, it’s a scene straight from a car-lover’s dream.
“It’s a great night out,” said Evelyn, who comes with her husband, William, from Hampton Bays “every few weeks. We talk with friends, have something to eat, and get to see cars like we used to ride in when we where in high school.” There’s a definite whiff of American Graffiti in the air, the rows of Plymouths, Chevys and other rides evoking memories of bygone eras. Anybody with a classic car is welcome to drive down and show it off, but you need not be an owner to join in the fun. “We have a Camry,” Eveyln laughs.
Indeed, vintage autos aren’t only part of the appeal. Face painters have put many a smile on faces of kids in the crowd, and a partnership between the Riverhead BID and the Long Island Blues Society has brought live music to the gatherings as well, with acts including the Josey Wales Band, Chrissie O’Dell & One Hot Mess and Doghouse Blues Band providing the soundtrack for an unforgettable night of nostalgia.
“Classic Car Cruise Nights in Riverhead” is brought to you by The Junque Shop in Riverhead. If you’re looking for classic antiques, you can visit The Junque Shop at 269 Riverleigh Avenue or call them at 631-334-8444.