03/20/16 9:00am
03/20/2016 9:00 AM


Many people use the term March Madness and I’m never sure whether they’re referring to the NCAA basketball tournament or the excitement brought forth by St. Patrick’s Day, with its parades and general good will. We were in Savannah and were amazed at the size of its parade. We soon learned that it’s the second biggest one in America. In Georgia. Who knew? READ

01/31/15 3:00pm
01/31/2015 3:00 PM
Grand Marshal Allen Smith and EEES trustee John Cuddy at the Peconic Bay Diner in Riverhead Saturday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Grand Marshal Allen Smith and East End Emerald Society trustee John Cuddy at the Peconic Bay Diner in Riverhead Saturday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Things will be getting pretty Irish in the Town of Riverhead from late February into March, as the East End Emerald Society gears up for its second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jamesport on March 28, which is expected to be bigger than last year’s inaugural parade.

In addition to the parade, the East End Emerald Society also is planning a reception on Saturday, Feb. 21 to formally introduce its grand marshal for the parade, Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith.  (more…)

01/11/15 11:01am
01/11/2015 11:01 AM
A March pub crawl will raise money for the East end Emerald Society, which hosts the Jamesport St. Patrick's Day parade. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file photo)

A March pub crawl will raise money for the East end Emerald Society, which hosts the Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file photo)

Bust out your shamrock-adorned T-shirts and polyester red beards — a St. Patrick’s Day-themed pub crawl is coming to Riverhead.

Piggybacking on the success of the Santacon pub crawl in December, the event, dubbed “The March of the Leprechauns,” will raise money for the homeless outreach group Maureen’s Haven and the East End Emerald Society. The latter is raising funds to pay for pipe and drum bands in the Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Read more about the event on northforker.com.

03/22/14 6:59pm
03/22/2014 6:59 PM

A green beard made for a festive march in Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jamesport. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Three months ago, the idea of holding a St. Patrick’s Day in Jamesport was just that: only a thought.

But after weeks of hurried preparation, a series of rushed moves to raise funds and support from local politicians and businesses, hundreds lined along Main Road Saturday afternoon and watched the East End Emerald Society’s parade march by, the first St. Patrick’s parade in Jamesport.  (more…)

03/17/14 2:36pm
03/17/2014 2:36 PM
A ruben club at Digger's. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

A reuben club at Digger’s. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today? Don’t forget a few Irish items that come straight from the North Fork.

No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without corned beef and the North Fork’s only Irish pub Digger’s Ale’s & Eats in Riverhead has a fantastic reuben sandwich. Their massive Ruben is made to satisfy. The chef uses top round cuts of beef instead of traditional brisket, which makes for a thicker, juicier sandwich.

Read the rest of the items on northforker.com

03/17/13 7:00am
03/17/2013 7:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Bagpipers march during last week’s Cutchogue St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

St. Patrick’s Day just isn’t the same anymore.

For over a decade the annual celebration of all things Irish — and unfortunately things that have nothing to do Mother Eire (pronounced air-uh, not ear-ree) — meant riding a bus to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and onto Manhattan’s manic streets for THE parade. The granddaddy of ‘em all, the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade up 5th Avenue in front of hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom are actually not conversing on a cellphone.

That’s the parade any piper worth his salt dreams of. It dates back to 1762 when some homesick Micks and fellow countrymen serving in the British colonial military reconnected to the land of saints and scholars by staging their own March 17 march through lower Manhattan’s narrow streets.

The view from the street is at turns awe-inspiring and terrifying. I played and marched in fair weather and foul, passing St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s imposing Gothic spires, Tiffany’s and other tony shops, the Plaza Hotel and Central Park up to 79th Street. We used to play all the way up to 89th, right to the Guggenheim Museum, but then the city decided it was spending too much on police overtime.

While I think the city looks foolish in its current role as the Sugar Nazi, they heard no complaint from me about loping off those last 10 blocks. Believe me, 30 blocks, much of it uphill, is more than enough.

But I didn’t pipe there last year, nor will I make the march this year. Not sure where I’ll be when this year’s parade steps off on Saturday, on the 16th because the parade is never, ever held on a Sunday, but it’s a safe bet me pipes will remain out in the garage.

The reason is simple. Last year my group, the Peconic Warpipes, fell apart, the victim of internal strife and a lack of interest by many of the senior members. Of course there are other bands out there, including one connected to a Riverhead brewery that rose out of the Warpipes’ ashes, but I have to admit my heart just isn’t in it.

I marched in 10 city parades, in Boston and in dozens of others from the Rockaways to Montauk, but in me sixth decade on this planet the idea of standing in the snow, or rain, waiting for three hours to step off has lost its luster. I am soooooo done with this.

Or so I thought.

That’s not what I was thinking on Saturday as me and the Mrs. watched local dignitaries, Girl Scouts, antique cars, fire trucks, school bands, even a helicopter on a flatbed truck and pipers, of course the pipers, pass us by during Cutchogue’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Now I know how a professional athlete must feel when playing days have passed and the view is from the sidelines or the stands. Well, except that I never drew a seven- or eight-figure salary, had multitudes screaming for my autograph, appeared on Letterman or drove a Lamborghini. Other than that, it’s the exact same thing.

The skirl of the pipes grew louder as the bands marched west on Main Road toward the reviewing stand where they stopped, their tartans gleaming in the sunshine of a glorious pre-spring afternoon. They played for the dignitaries and marched off again. That could have been/should have been me up there. Why am I on the outside looking in? Why am I wearing pants? (Knock it off. You know what I mean.)

Then a couple of former bandmates came up to say hi. Great to see ‘em, but boy did it feel awkward.

Soon the horses clip-clopped by, signaling, for obvious reasons, the parade’s end. The crowd dispersed and we walked the short distance home and into the garage. Just before opening the kitchen door I glanced over at the pipes, lying on a cluttered table by the far wall.

Damn, damn, damn.