February just flew by, and March is upon us. Everyone in Montauk knows what that means — The Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick's Day parade is around the corner.
This year, the 51st parade is actually on St. Patrick's Day: Sunday, March 17.
The Friends of Erin originally set the date on April 7, much later than usual. Typically, the parade is held on the Sunday after St. Patrick's Day, which this year falls on a Sunday. The problem was compounded because the Sunday after is Palm Sunday and the Sunday after that is Easter. But the members took into account the reaction of some of the businesses, who look toward the parade as a business generator and a way to kick-off a new season.
The New York City parade will be held on March 16, a Saturday, and initially the Montauk parade organizers were under the impression that it was because the Cardinal doesn't want it to be held on a Sunday. However, after speaking to the Rev. Mike Reider of Montauk's Catholic Church, St. Therese of Lisieux, they found the church was amenable to having the parade on St. Patrick's Day.
Leading the parade as the grand marshal this year is Jack Perna, the Montauk School superintendent.
As for the timing of the parade, this year's starts at 11:30 a.m. You may recall that last year, the parade started much earlier — at 10 a.m. — in an effort to cut down on unruly, often young drinkers. The crowd that turned out was smaller and calmer, but businesses reported less revenue generated.
With just two weeks left until the St. Paddy's parade, tell us if you are looking forward to celebrating on the actual holiday. Leave a comment below.