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Riverhead Town Board expected to deny application for food festival at Tanger Outlets

The Tanger Outlets in Riverhead where town officials

The Tanger Outlets in Riverhead where town officials are denying a weekend food festival in August which draws thousands because of applicaton problems on June 16. Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

Riverhead officials said they are denying the initial application of a weekend food festival that draws thousands of people each summer because of problems with the application and the timing of the event.

The Riverhead Town Board is expected Tuesday to vote on a resolution denying the application of Famous Food Festival, a Manhattan-based food vendor with offices in Hauppauge, for its "Famous Food Festival — Taste the World" event. The application requested permission to host the festival on Aug. 17 and 18 at the Tanger Outlets Riverhead, on West Main Street.

This year would mark the first time the festival — which is entering its fourth year and drew about 40,000 people to Tanger Outlets Deer Park in 2018 — would be held at Riverhead, said vendor co-owner Eric Arshravan. He said Friday that the site was chosen to accommodate the growing crowds.

Board members at a June 13 town board work session said there were several problems with the application, most notably the event’s organizers requesting to hold the festival the same weekend as the annual Polish Town Fair, which also draws several thousand people each year.

The resolution lists “insufficient fire and police protection available to cover both events” as among the reasons for the application’s denial. Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith  said Thursday that there are “not enough [town] resources to support the date” festival organizers requested.

Town officials also said the festival’s application was missing a certificate of insurance naming Riverhead as an additional insured party for the days of the event.

Arshravan said he had paperwork showing that several documents town officials told him were missing — such as the certificate of insurance and a police plan for the event — were submitted in the original application.

Arshravan said organizers are working with town officials to ensure the dates for the festival can be moved up, most likely to Aug. 10-11.

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