The 55th annual Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 26. The parade will start at the Montauk Fire House, run down Edgemere Road and Main Street, pass the reviewing stand on the green and finish near the IGA.
It will be the place to be on Sunday so bundle up in your most comfy greens and get there early to secure the best spot to watch. Early birds can get hot soup, donated by local restaurants and served by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade souvenir mug, starting at 10 a.m.
The Montauk Friends of Erin, who organize the event, chose former East Hampton Town Police Chief Eddie Ecker Jr. as this year’s Grand Marshal. Ecker is a well known member of the Montauk community, having served 31 years on the East Hampton police force, the last three as Chief, before retiring in 2013. In fact, 10 years ago, bumper stickers started showing up around town with the phrase “I know Eddie Ecker.” Yeah, he’s pretty well known in these parts. As proof of his dedication to our community, even though he’s retired, Ecker now works as an information officer for the Montauk Fire Department. And this particular Ecker is not the first to don the tri-colored sash—it runs the family. His father Eddie Ecker Sr., a former town supervisor, was Grand Marshal in 1984; and his mother, Frances Ecker, held the honor in 2009.
This is also a kid-friendly event. During the parade children can enjoy face painting, foam shamrocks and shillelaghs—a traditional Irish walking stick—as well as catching beads, candy and other fun treats tossed into the crowds from passing floats.
If you’re not a kid and want to celebrate with libations, strap on your drinking shoes and climb onto the Bus Pub Tour, starting at Inlet Seafood and ending at The Montauket Hotel, making stops at eight other bars and restaurants. Participants might need their own shillelagh afterwards.
In support of the parade, MTA will be adding two eastbound trains—arriving in Montauk at 9:51 and 11:11 a.m.—and one extra westbound train—leaving at 1:31 p.m.—on Sunday. The last train of the day leaves Montauk at 7:33 p.m. so plan accordingly. Also note, alcoholic beverages will be not be allowed on any Montauk branch trains, platforms or stations on Sunday, March 26. Any alcoholic beverages observed or found on will be confiscated by MTA Police. So come out to celebrate the end of winter, the coming of spring and the unofficial start of the season with friends and family in Montauk.
On Friday, March 24, the Montauk Friends of Erin will host the annual Grand Marshal Luncheon at noon at Gurney’s Montauk. Eddie Ecker Jr. will be introduced, roasted and presented with his parade sash. Tickets are $60, available as advanced sales only and may be purchased at Montauk Laundromat or by calling 631-668-3381. No tickets will be sold at the door.
The Friends of Erin host their Annual Cocktail Party on Saturday, March 25 from 4–8 p.m. at Gurney’s Montauk. There will be Irish food, an open bar and live music by Billy & The Barfights. Advanced sale tickets are $65; $80 at the door. Call 631-668-1578.