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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Irish Day ‘was over’
Parade and festival scaled back to address costs, quality-of-life issues
Herald file photo
The Ancient Order of Hibernians say that they are working with the city to make Irish Day more family-friendly. Residents said that this year's changes to the parade and festival, including clearing streets earlier, will have little impact on the crowds and noise.

The St. Brendan’s Day Irish Parade and Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors to the West End each year, was nearly canceled last month amid an outcry from residents who say they have had enough of the drunken revelers that cause trouble long after the parade ends and after city officials said that Long Beach could no longer assume all of the costs associated with the event.

But the city reached an agreement with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which organizes the parade and festival, and the Historic West End Business Association, so Saturday’s event will go on, albeit with scaled-back hours. Businesses will start closing at 1 a.m. on Sunday this year instead of 4 a.m., while the parade will begin an hour earlier on Saturday, at 11 a.m., in order to help the Police Department clear the streets earlier.

Additionally, a number of businesses are paying the city a total of $25,000 to help cover police and sanitation overtime costs. As a result of the concessions, City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the event is expected to cost the city approximately $60,000 this year, a significant reduction in the amount spent in past years, when costs had climbed to more than $100,000.*

“It’s a start,” Schnirman said. “[With] things closing earlier, we’re hopeful that it will prevent the problems that went on later in the evening, and we’re going to clear the street earlier. We’re also going to start clearing out the bars at 1 a.m. to prevent some of the biggest problems that you’ve seen in the past. After this year, we’ll have a look, see how it went and discuss how to go forward.”

Earlier this year, West End residents called on the city to address issues that arise after the parade. “Between the concerns that we heard from residents about the impact on the community … and obviously the financial aspect, it was a lot to swim through,” Schnirman said. “But we’re happy that we were able to work it out with the AOH.”

Comments

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LongBlondeCurls

Quite a few years ago we felt that the way revelers celebrated/treated this day was a slap in the face to the AOH and to our Irish Heritage. We cancelled our annual brunch and open house, and go as far away from the West End as possible on the first Saturday in October now. And it seems that those who ruin it are the group rentals, day-trippers, the out-of-towners who come in to our neighborhood and disrespect our event and our quality of life with the foul mouths, urinating and upchucking on our properties - - they start partying at 10am and are still going at 4am the day after - - they just don't know when to stop.

What bothered us in reading the article was that Tom Corning stated that this day gets the businesses through the slow winter months - - WTF - - who the heck has been getting all the local businesses through the slow winter months over the years? The year-round residents - - many of us who have been here much longer than those businesses - - what respect do we get from the local businesses for going out in the cold, wintery months to patronize your businesses? Not much - -

Move the festival to the boardwalk or to Kennedy Plaza - - many of us are sick of putting up with this annual inconvenience.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Report this
LongBlondeCurls

If we named the wrong person in our previous comment, we apologize however, our opinion still stands that its the long-time, year-round residents who have been supporting the businesses.

Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Report this
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