by Ken Giustino
Notably, New York’s second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade organized by the Montauk Friends of Erin, was canceled for the second year in a row. The FOE had to regretfully and with heavy hearts announce that all of their 2021 events are canceled due to New York State and local restrictions.”
Canceled events include the annual grand marshal’s luncheon, the gala cocktail party, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade itself…but the Pot Of Gold Raffle is still on! (Click on the ad to the right to go to the FOE website) I’m sure there is light at the end of the COVID tunnel and the Friends of Erin will come back strong next year with this amazing Montauk tradition. This has become the unofficial kickoff for Montauk after the long cold winter. It’s become synonymous with the beginning of Montauk’s tourist season and it is important it returns!
In 1947 on St. Patrick’s Day, 74 years ago there were four men — Mike Egan, Jocko Hayden, Joe Pugh, and Elisa Ammon — They marched East down Main St. and ended up at what is today the Shagwong Tavern! The parade now passes the Shagwong westbound with a short pause while the Shagwong owner (presently Jason Behan) serves the Grand Marshal a short drink to help him finish the march.
In late 1962, a dozen locals officially formed the Friends of Erin with the purpose of doing a proper traditional parade to honor old Irish traditions. The FOE has become a community service organization that focuses on the needs of Montauk overall. The St. Patrick’s Day festivities have became synonymous with the beginning of Montauk’s tourist season!