Alive After Five is now going “Live” After Five on June 25.
David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, said June 25 was supposed to be the date for the first AA5 event of the summer, but due to COVID-19, Kennedy said it’s not possible to host the festivals on Main Street this year.
However, Patchogue plans on keeping it “alive” by bringing the street festival online.
“It’s just a way to connect with the Alive After Five fans that are out there,” Kennedy said.
Jacqueline Routh, chairperson of the Alive After Five street festivals, said although there hasn’t been an official announcement by the chamber yet, it looks like the traditional Alive After Five event will not return until next summer.
“I knew when they were closing schools, okay we are not having Alive After Five this year,” Routh said. “It wouldn’t be safe, even if things go back to semi-normal, I feel like it would be irresponsible to ask people to congregate.”
Routh and Kennedy said the chamber is partnering with Blue Point Brewery and Better Man Distillery for the event.
“Better Man was the first on Long Island to introduce the virtual bar crawl concept,” Kennedy said. “Blue Point delivers beer to all of Long Island, so we would offer a package deal of food and drink for people.”
Not only would participants have access to special food and drink packages, but they also can enjoy a series of live stream entertainment, family activities through the Patchogue Library, and more.
“The musical performances will be from local musicians from their home locations,” Kennedy said. “You know we’ll at least honor what would have been the first Alive After Five this year.
Routh said the plan is to host the first virtual Alive After Five and seeing how it goes before they decide on the other dates. If it goes well, they may continue it throughout the summer.
She said she envisions her and Kennedy being the hosts of the event and instructing participants to go visit certain restaurants, try out the library activities, and so on.
“Almost like New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, but in the summer,” Routh said.
The bar crawl will happen within a couple of mile radius to avoid overwhelming the restaurants, but Routh said they are working on other pickup options for people outside of the radius, so they’re not left out.
“I think It was really important to keep the hope alive,” she said. “This is a hard time for everybody, even if this is something small we can do and bring a couple of dollars to the door, keep the brand alive, then it’s a win.”
Mayor Paul Ponteiri said the virtual concept is new to him, but he has faith that the event will go well.
“They pull off the most amazing things anyway,” Ponteiri said. “They have a very creative bunch of people.”
Eric Rifkin, owner of Bobbique, said for his restaurant, this weekend will be the 10th week of hosting virtual bar crawls with Better Man Distillery. He said this event has been highly successful in the town.
“[The virtual bar crawls] let people experience what we have to offer for food and beverage, they keep people employed, and they bring top-line revenue,” Rifkin said.
Rifkin said the event will be rebranded as crossing out the “A” in “Alive After Five” to become “Live After Five.”
“You get a group of forward-thinking people together, you create really good stuff,” Rifkin said. “That’s what goes on here in Patchogue.”
Routh said Patchogue is a “beautiful community” and she hopes this event will bring the tight-knit village together during this difficult time.
“We miss connection, we miss being connected to one another,” Routh said. “Any way to kind of sort of creating that, even if it’s at home, it’s important to maintaining our mental health.”