Thousands turn out to celebrate Irish Day


Thousands of people flocked to the West End on Saturday, lining West Beech Street for the 28th annual Saint Brendan the Navigator Long Beach Irish Heritage Day Parade and Festival hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 17 of Long Beach.

The parade — which began at 11 a.m. — stepped off at Washington Boulevard and West Beech Street and was followed by a festival that featured more than 100 vendors and Irish concessions until 5 p.m.

“Those in attendance — both Irish and not — took full advantage of the warm weather for this annual parade and street festival,” said AOH President Bill Peyton. “It was fantastic!”

He added that the proceeds raised by the event would be distributed to local charities.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1384 Commander Daniel McPhee served as the grand marshal of the parade and walked with his aides, AOH members Joan Duffy, Edward Henry, Malachy McGarry and Brian Wheeler.

“It was a great day for family,” Peyton said. “The weather was beautiful, and as usual, the parade and festival were held in a really wonderful community.”

Local businesses sponsored the festival, including the Lancer Insurance Company, Peknic, Peknic and Schaefer LLC, the Inn, the Saloon, Minnesota’s, the Cabana, the Beach House, Shine’s, Whale’s Tale, Speakeasy, The Knights’ Pub, Swingbelly’s, Jetty, Lilly’s and Trainor’s.