St. Patrick's Parade 2012: How Did It Really Go?

Share your thoughts about whether starting the parade at 10 a.m. worked out better than the usual 1 p.m. start?

How do you really feel about this year's parade  — am or pm —  the issues that are not really being brought out by the Montauk Friends of Erin:

  • Was downtown Montauk hurt by lack of people?
  • Was the parade really only 55 minutes long?
  • Were there really more families or were they more visible because the crowds were so small?
  • Is 10:00 a.m. too early for people to get here for both marchers and spectators?

Editor's note: Share your thoughts below.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jessica Hollman Boyle March 31, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I thought it was GREAT. We had been going to the parade for many many years, but we did not go last year because the year prior (2010?) the drunken behavior had just reached "that" point where is was just not enjoyable anymore. My husband and I, along with our at the time 3 year old, were entirely too close to the "Gazebo Melee" that broke out. We did not go last year because of it and we not going to go back ever again. But then we heard about the time change, LIRR/Drunkard deflection strategy, and decided to give it a try again, and we were thrilled with how it all worked out. I dont know if the drunkards came late after we left, or if they never came, but the parade was fabulous... I think the low turnout was more rain related, and the Patchogue Parade was happening as well...
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) March 31, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Just out of curiosity, Jessica, are you local or do you travel to come to the parade? Thanks for your comment!
Jessica Hollman Boyle March 31, 2012 at 10:11 PM
We came from up island, but we have family in Springs, so we always get together to head to the parade...
Soozy's Film and Entertainment Blog April 01, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I thought is was lackluster. There were only 2-3 bands and it was only an hour long. I thought it lacked some energy....
Paul April 01, 2012 at 02:20 AM
I loved it -- and my two-year-old son loved it even more (especially the fire trucks). Thumbs up to the a.m. plan.
PJ Delia April 01, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I've been either in the parade or spectating since the 70s. Change is difficult but perhaps some compromising would be in order re: the time set. I think it was a good start with a light crowd, but so much more friendly. The rain and sudden cold (that long warm streak ended) kept things light. Also, less participants probably because of the hour. It still was a nice fun hoot! Last year, the crowd was so ugly in behavior.
Jeff Havlik April 01, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The parade was dull.
Sarah Malone April 01, 2012 at 05:03 PM
We have been Clowns in the Parade for a few years now. Usually there are crowds going from the train station all the way down to Main St. Very light in that area. I think next year will be much better with the new time change. Everyone will have a chance to get used to it. Very family friendly. There was a report that The Stretch would close at 9 am..that might have put a damper on it. One thing for sure whoever made the change was intune with the weather. Rain started at the finish...
Karin Wanag April 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Well. somewhere around 1998. I think we stood in the snow to watch the parade,so, I don't blame the weather. The time, yes. too early. We are 'The End'. Montauk is a destination,not like say, Westhampton where you might happen to be driving through.People PLAN to come here, and It seems they didn't plan to get up at 6am to come.Three years ago, there was a strong police presence and the MTA made a big effort and things seemed to be better in regard to the rowdy kids. But since then, they have not been so diligent. The Parade was short, 55 minutes by my clock. Alot of tradition was broken. Many people and businesses were were disappointed.Yes, many of us have this weekend planned into our budget. It's the bump that gets you through until the Music Festival or Memorial Day in May. The streets were deserted by 2:30pm, except for several packs of tipsy teens trying to find their way back to the train. They still came.
Dana Kalbacher April 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I have been going to Montauks parade since I was a child..In the 70's, a group of friends got together for a tailgate one yr. We have not missed too many parades since then.Our traditional tailgate at Monatuks St Pattys Day parade has grown thru the years with our children and friends weathering rain,sleet, snow and yes, a few drunken folk staggering thru our set up. We have never been really offended at any one time or from any specific incident,,other than people leaving their litter. When our children were small, we measured our time and we left accordingly so that we departed Montauk safely and without incident. For the last several years, our days have started early in the morning to set up by 10 and enjoy our day with a BBQ and tons of food and friends, a stroll into the village and it would last into the late afternoon, well after the parade ended by 3. We would pack it in and head to Montaukett or Tipperaray for a song from the bagpipers. Always a wonderful day and very looked forward to! This year was a different with a very early set up. No walk into the village to grab a few goodies. The last group passed us at 11:15 AM. There were some wonderful floats and lots of work and time was evident. The rain began to fall and due to early time of day..11:30..we packed it all up and headed home. There were still train people and a few inebriated parade crashers,there were no brawls but still some DWI's. I think the parade should go back to a Noon start. Nice try. Thanks.
Montaukman April 01, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Hey Carl if you thought the Parade was too short maybe you should have built a float from the Marine Basin. Also I did not see a float from the Chamber. I think the Friends made the right decision for this year. Could the time be tweaked ? Yes, but remember they needed to take a stand and they did and accomplish their goal. It was what it should have been, a great day for the local families and for those who came to visit. You did leave out one question though, did the weather have any affect on the crowd or the participants.
Justin Fallon April 01, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Parade was the best in quite a while. It was the way parades are supposed to be - fun, friendly and appropriate for young kids. So refreshing not to see the town overrun with drunk a-holes (both local and imported.) Get the word out to your local friends with kids - its safe to come back.
Kevin Gray April 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Last year 35,000 people 40 arrest. This year 15,000 people...naturally there would be fewer arrests. Bet we didn't sell too much beer as bars were closed when the parade ended. A lot of people just left town (myself included.) Mickey was great but all in all not a memorable day for us. I would prefer to go back to the original start time and utilize all those police officers (on overtime) to teach the rowdies a lesson. Maybe then we could have it both ways...good for business and fun for responsible drinkers.
S.B. Bonacker April 02, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Move the start time back to 12;30! I hated the early time. The energy just was not there. Seeing everyone leave town by 11:45 was depressing. I think the time shift this year sent a message to the drunken rowdies that they were not welcome. If we go back to the later start time next year, and have enough police at the train station that should do the job. How about staging the floats in a different area, and getting the floats away from the arriving train crowds who slowed them down??
Carl Darenberg April 02, 2012 at 06:17 PM
yes a lot of those business's who stay open all winter need this boost during the parade to help pay their winter bills in hope they can stay open in the winters come
Carl Darenberg April 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM
yes energy was lacking through the entire parade by spectators and marchers It was very depressing to see empty streets and store fronts afterwards unlike many past years when it generated excrement and fun
S.B. Bonacker April 02, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Carl, did you mean to say "excrement" - is that a tongue in cheek reference to the rowdy types that have been coming past years?? Ha!
Carl Darenberg April 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM
oh my what a slip of the keyboard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cannot Believe This April 03, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Now that everyone who likes to have a few before, during and after the parade have spoken, why don't we simply give all the students at the Montauk School a take home survey for their parents that asks three questions: 1) Did you attend this year's Montauk St. Patrick's Day Parade with your child(ren)?; 2) if so, did you enjoy it more or less than last year's parade or parade's you have attended in the past? and 3) Explain why you enjoyed it more or less. let's see how the local family's enjoyed it - after all aren't parades for the kids?
Penny Benbenek April 03, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Hey...I marched in the parade & maybe you were sleeping or just in a bad spot, I saw plenty of energy in it, on the sidelines, etc. Many happy faces & plenty of kids not getting trampled over by drunken hordes...both local & imported. I'm sorry, but it was still a Sunday...the drinking can wait for the afternoon at least. Instead of tallying up $$ signs in your head the whole time, you might've enjoyed yourself like many others did. The weather question...it was cool but the rain came afterwards. I didn't see a lack of enthusiasm anywhere really, except here. And not for nothing...Mtk certainly makes up for it's losses in the $ummer $ea$on...nothing to cry over.
Karin Wanag April 07, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Chamber is busy selling soup that morning to earn money that is then donated to the FOE to support the parade.


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