Alive After Five, one of Patchogue’s most popular events, has a new home: the internet. Due to large gatherings being restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials in Patchogue wanted to still hold the event in a way that is safe and accessible. The first event is scheduled for June 25, the original date for Alive After Five.
“[We wanted to] try to make it feel like there’s still some connection,” said Jacqueline Routh, chairperson of the Alive After Five committee.
The event will obviously not be the same, but will have some of the same elements. It will center around a bar crawl, where people can order from a list of restaurants and have food and drinks delivered. The idea is based on the success of the weekly bar crawls done by Better Man Distilling Co. According to Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy, the event will also have livestreamed live music. And there will be a virtual marketplace highlighting retail spots in Patchogue. The Patchogue-Medford Library has also signed on to livestream some activities for families during the event.
Kennedy said there have not been decisions made yet about the other events planned throughout the summer, but if the first goes well, it may continue. The goal is to keep the community engaged throughout summer.
“Everyone will be welcome to join in,” he said.
The virtual event is part of a larger plan for Patchogue to sustain business through the summer, as it is still unclear what will be allowed to open, in what capacity, and when.
“We need to come up with a way to stay ahead of the curve,” said Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri.
Ideas in the works include allowing restaurants to open outside dining spaces, and even hosting an event where Main Street is closed for a few hours on Saturday and restaurants can have spaced-out tables with appointment-only dining.
Pontieri said it would be tough to substitute events like Alive After Five and the business that Patchogue earns, though village and chamber officials are looking at plans. He’s also looking at the long-term solutions for restaurants, which have been earning the bare minimum on takeout for over two months now, and which will likely need to adapt to social-distancing guidelines when reopening.