The bag pipes and Irish limericks. The dancing, celebrating, and sea of green. The Long Beach-themed t-shirts. The fights, the public urination, and the disorderly conduct. Ah…. Irish Day is in the air.
I love Irish Day. It’s a great way to see the whole City out, enjoy my Irish heritage – that the rest of you non-Irish get to share in for a day – and enjoy a few adult beverages. I love the parade and the music. But, I also don’t pick fights and urinate on private property. Also, I don’t live in the West End.
Without a doubt though in skimming through some comments, I can see there’s a lot of negativity from West End residents. I can see that it’s not just blanket negativity for the sake of negativity. There are great points in there.
I don’t think anyone is against having a great parade that honors the heritage of many of this City’s Irish residents, what’s at issue is the excuse to be drunk and disorderly, and how that effects the residents of that community.
The bar owners love Irish Day because it is such a great hit for business and they have no economic motivation to intentionally irritate their neighbors with out-of-control patrons. They certainly have to be part of the solution to help mitigate those effects.
West End residents – clearly, this is part case of “not in my backyard,” but even if you don’t live there you should understand their concerns. And this is just another example of the sort of drama that happened leading into the Quiksilver Pro. Complaints about rowdiness, fighting, and drinking next to people’s homes, without any real “approval” by each resident. And of course, West-Enders have had to deal with this for years.
But so there it stands. Irish Day attracts thousands of revelers in green tees: from families with kids, to those just looking to hit the bars and go wild. It also attracts great bands and amazing music. How to balance then the well-founded concerns of the West End residents, with the interests of the bars and restaurants in the area, and the desires of other residents and non-residents who want to just come down and have a good time.
I assume this is what the West End Neighbors Civic Association is all about – and I’m sure they’ve been working hard on it.
I’ve reached out to them to ask ( actually, I can’t find an email for them, but the offer stands, Alright, now I found it – thanks commenters. For future reference it is: firstname.lastname@example.org) if they want to have some internet page inches to contribute to the conversation here. I’ll update if they get back to me.
So: West Enders, East Enders, “Central” Long Beachers, chime in. How do we make sure Irish Day is fun for all, but residents are not negatively impacted by the irresponsible types that an event like this is bound to attract?
Irish Day is run by the Ancient Order of Hiberanians and will be held October 2nd, 2o11. The parade starts at Washington Blvd.