With more than a half dozen parades and special events this month, it's no longer just St. Patrick's Day on the East End; it's St. Paddy's season.
And the season kicks off this weekend, when the Westhampton St. Patrick's Parade Committee is your host for its annual fundraiser. Dubbed one of the East End's best winter parties, it takes place Saturday from 7 to 11 PM at Agave's Tequila and Rum Bar on Mill Road in Westhampton Beach and features the Eastern Long Island Police Pipes and Drums heralding this year's Grand Marshal, plus a DJ and a cash bar.
Parade supporters can purchase tickets for an array of raffles with such prizes as a trip to Las Vegas, a giant flat screen TV, $500 cash, or a round of golf at a local country club, not to mention overflowing "wagons of cheer," and gift certificates for local goods and services.
Tickets are $20 at the door.
The parade steps off at noon on March 15. Donna Conti will lead the procession. A Quogue resident, she's the tenth woman to ever lead the parade and is its 48th Grand Marshal. Conti is the third in her family to claim Grand Marshal bragging rights. Her father, Jim Gohery, was the 1995 Grand Marshal and her brother-in-law Seth Allan led the way in 2009.
Conti is a longtime member of the Coneheads, described on the parade committee's website as "a well-known super-secret group of local residents that puts together a funny and spirited float in the parade each year." In keeping with Westhampton parade tradition, Conti was tapped to select the theme for this year. It's "Dream Green."
Those with a yen for drums and bagpipes will have a tough choice to make on March 15. The sixth annual Am-O-Gansett Parade, boasting the distinction of "the world's shortest parade," also steps off at noon – well, 12:02 PM to be exact. It runs just one block from Mary's Marvelous to the Mobil Gas Station, but does draw an interesting crowd of characters, including Mr. Amagansett 2014, who'll be chosen following a competition at the Stephen Talkhouse on March 13.
More parades and St. Pat's events continue as March moves along, with Hampton Bays the venue for a lively procession on March 22 and the Montauk Friends of Erin hosting a weekend's worth of activities culminating in one of the state's largest parades on March 23. The Friends hold their annual Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner at The Point Bar and Grill on March 15 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids. Todd the Guitar Guy provides the entertainment. Call 631-668-1500 for additional info.
Stay tuned for more parade details as the month progresses.