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Friends of Erin Want to Change Parade to St. Patrick's Day

For the 2013 parade, the Montauk group wants to hold the parade on the actual holiday instead of April 7, as had been previously decided.

After some negative feedback about the date for the 2013 St. Patrick's Parade, the organization decided to change the date and hold it on the very holiday it's all about.

The group wants to hold the 51st parade will be held on March 17, 2013, starting at 11:30 a.m., according to Joe Bloecker, the president.

The parade requires a mass gathering permit, issued by the town board, which will have to be taken care of in the coming months. It remains to be seen what town board officials and the police department have to say.

Bloecker said the members took into account the reaction of some of the businesses when .

"This happens to be a very difficult year to schedule the parade. This is probably an issue a lot of groups are having," Bloecker said.

They reached the April date because the parade has typically been held on the Sunday after St. Patrick's Day, which in 2013 falls on a Sunday. However, the following Sunday is Palm Sunday and the Sunday after that is Easter.

The New York City parade will be held on March 16, a Saturday. Bloecker said the Montauk Friends of Erin was under the impression that it was because the Cardinal doesn't want it to be held on a Sunday.

After speaking with the leader of the Catholic Church in Montauk, the Rev. Mike Reider of , they found the church was amenable to having the parade on St. Patrick's Day.

"The officers felt we may have made a bad decision," with not enough people voting on the initial date change, Bloecker said of the membership. They decided to change the date this week.

Last March, the parade was held on a traditional date, but at an earlier time — 10 a.m. The crowd that turned out was . Bloecker previously said that it was successful in that there were no arrests of a violent nature, when in the past crowds of an estimated 35,000 people have produced dozens of calls for fights during and following afternoon parades. However, a smaller crowd meant less business on a date that has long been considered the unofficial start of the season in Montauk.

"We're keenly aware that the business looks forward to the parade, but we're also keenly aware of the problems we were beginning to have," Bloecker said.

He hopes the 11:30 start time will still keep crowds manageable, but allow the businesses to make more money.

"We're trying to do the right thing by the community," he said. "Hopefully this works out for the best of everybody."

What do you think of having the parade on March 17?

Paul Monte September 01, 2012 at 12:37 PM
That's a good decision guys! This should make for much more festive and productive weekend overall. On behalf of the Montauk Chamber and as a local businessman, I thank you for seeing the wisdom in making the change. I also commend Joey and the FOE for continually looking to make the parade and the surrounding festivities better, and more importantly, safer for all.
Nanci e. LaGarenne September 01, 2012 at 01:35 PM
besides the good decision, we don't want to confuse the kiddies about the bunnies and the leprechauns. Slainte!
Ken Giustino September 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I commend the Montauk Friends of Erin, they have been working to make this holiday one of the premier events for Montauk and have been making a lot of tuff decisions to keep the community safe, last year was a turning point to make the parade fun, safe and for family’s to enjoy. This has been the kickoff of the Montauk season for 50 years. I’ve always been amazed how the parade would wake up this sleepy little town after its winter break. I’m sure this will be the best one yet.
Dana Kalbacher September 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Great...thanks FOE! Our entourage will be happy to hear this!!
Art Lynch September 02, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Go raibh maith h-agat ("Thank you", if I'm correct). Over the years, many holidays have been "rescheduled" for another day (usually a following Monday to all three-day weekends for major celebrations..). Among most Christians, March 17th has been observed as St. Patrick's Day. I believe this is true in Ireland, too, where it's a national holiday. I think it's much more appropriate to honor St. Patrick on the day traditionally identified with him. I'll admit I've been lax over the years in attending the festivities in Montauk, for a variety of reasons, and I regret that. Kudos to the Friends of Erin for your wonderful efforts over the years to take on the task of planning and conducting these activities, On the occasions when I was there, I was never disappointed and proud to acknowledge and honor my dad's birthplace. (I also honor Columbus Day [no parades here, though] to honor my mom's heritage, which emanates from Lipari, Italy.) Art oLoingshigh
S.B. Bonacker September 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM
EXCELLENT IDEA! Finally, Montauk gets to celebrate St. Pat's on the actual day. It will make for a very festive weekend and will be great for all businesses. And the later starting time will make a big difference. 10 am was just way too early last year.
John Anderson September 02, 2012 at 10:47 PM
It's difficult to commend the group for the change back since April 7 was a dumb idea in the first place. Good that the business folks brought some pressure.
Thomas Solheim September 03, 2012 at 12:06 AM
We must remember that it's a Religious Holiday not a money changers holiday
Terry Masi September 03, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Sounds good to me...hope it's approved!
Terry Masi September 03, 2012 at 02:00 AM
I just did!
Steph December 01, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I think it sucks.. There r so many people that aren't able to get off work on that date and others that have conflicting plans. We usually have a group of over 40 people that rent rooms for the whole weekend we r down to only 3 rooms this year if its held on st. Party's day. Plus those of us who r going have work the following day, so it ruins the actual parade day. Yea the later date sucks too if we can't get any sooner date, but at least if its in April there will be a lot less conflict and it will give everyone an excuse to take off work and party :-) blahhh... Thought this was gonna be a good year.
Rich McGuire December 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM
This is great for the town. Holding the parade on the actual day makes the weekend that much better overall. Good job Friends of Erin. I do not understand the above comment. The parade is always held on Sunday so if you work Sundays you can't go anyway!

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