Paul Monte, the general manager and CEO of Gurney’s Inn Resort & Spa, has been named the grand marshal of the 52nd annual Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The announcement was made on Friday at Gurney’s during the Friends of Erin Pub Quiz Night, hosted by the Friends of Erin Ladies Auxiliary.
“In my opinion, being named grand marshal is the highest honor a person can receive from the Montauk community,” Monte says. “As a long-time member of this wonderful community, I am both honored and humbled to join all of the previous grand marshals in this great tradition.”
Monte moved to Montauk in 1968 when he was 11 years old, and many of his favorite memories of the parade—which is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York State—are from the various times when he participated. “Whether I was marching as a Cub Scout or Boy Scout, riding horseback or driving or riding on a float, it was always a memorable and exciting experience. I guess that type of excitement and small town experience is what draws the 30-40,000 visitors that line our streets to watch it every year.”
The Montauk St. Patrick’s Day festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 23, when the Montauk Chamber of Commerce will begin serving hot clam chowder donated by local restaurants. The parade kicks off from Edgemere Road at 11:30 a.m., before turning onto Main Street and finishing by the IGA.
“As a seasonal community, the parade and the festivities of that weekend are a kind of rebirth for our community each year,” Monte says of the significance of the parade to the greater community. “It’s a time to say goodbye to winter, hello to spring and ‘welcome’ to the throngs of visitors who love Montauk as much as we do. It’s also an opportunity for our local merchants and workers to bring in some sorely needed capital after the long, slow winter months.”