The Parade Weekend Is Here

Expect a sea of green in Montauk on Sunday. Janis Hewitt

    Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Montauk Friends of Erin have a full weekend of activities planned tomorrow through Sunday.
    The annual grand marshal lunch will be tomorrow starting at noon at Gurney’s Inn. Tickets, which can be purchased at the door, cost $40. At the event, Mickey Valcich, this year’s grand marshal, will be roasted and handed his top hat, parade sash, and shillelagh.
    On Saturday, there will be a cocktail party, also at Gurney’s Inn, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a buffet, an open bar, and a band. Tickets cost $60 in advance and can be bought from any member of the Friends of Erin or at Becker’s Home Center in Montauk, the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, or Atlantic Wines and Liquors in Amagansett. Tickets will cost $75 at the door.
    At the party, the drawing for the Pot of Gold raffle will take place, with tickets being sold right up to the drawing. They cost $25 each or five for $100. The first-place prize is $10,000, second is $1,000, and there are two third-place prizes of $500 each. You do not have to be present to win.
    On Sunday, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will begin at 10 a.m., earlier than in years past, in an effort to eliminate drunken revelers from coming in on an afternoon train and disrupting the parade.
    “We’re hoping that the Friends of Erin time change of the event will work to benefit the public safety side of things,” said East Hampton Town Police Lt. Christopher M. Hatch, the commander of the Montauk precinct, “and that all in attendance will be mindful of the quality-of-life issues that we will be enforcing.”
    Town police have issued a warning that open containers of alcohol will not be permitted and can bring a $250 fine.
    “We have approximately 120 to 130 police officers covering the parade, including our own,” Lieutenant Hatch said. “Every East End town and village department on the North and South Forks will be represented, as well as the Suffolk County sheriffs, Suffolk park police, state police, state park police, Riverhead, and Westhampton Beach.”
    The more than 60 entries in the parade include floats, marching bands, and fire departments. It will start at the Montauk Fire Department and head south down Edgemere Road before winding through the Montauk Post Office parking lot and then turning toward Main Street, where it will head west past the reviewing stand on the green and end at the Montauk I.G.A.
    Over at the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, a soup sale will be going on to help keep revelers warm. It starts at 10:30 a.m. More than 14 restaurants have promised vats of assorted soups that will cost $7 per souvenir cup. But to beat the crowds that usually form, cups will go on sale Friday and Saturday during chamber hours and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.


What is the consensus on how to best navigate this parade? The earliest train arrives after the parade begins and likely ends. Additionally, is this a kid friendly event? Brendan Byrne

With a 10 a.m. start, the only choice this year appears to be getting to the parade by car.  The parade can take a long time to pass, so the littlest kids might get antsy, but it is definitely something children enjoy. There is good viewing along Edgemere Street, if you get there early enough.