Love It or Hate It – Irish Day 2011 is Coming

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:  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.

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22 thoughts on “Love It or Hate It – Irish Day 2011 is Coming”

  1. Why not have the event on the boardwalk the first Sunday after Labor Day?

    Plenty of room and NO alcohol.

    Why should residents of the West End have to put up with 20 hours of drunken hooliganism?

    The great Long Beach Police Department has enough to deal with without a full day of drunken louts from all over the tri-state area turning the West End into a urinal.

  2. Irish Day in Long Beach is great day for the West End Bars and for the AOH who runs the Parade. The highlight for me is to see the nice Korean vendor with the booth on Beech St. He sells the best little toy cars and trucks and also other toys. And his booth has exactly what to do with the Irish Heritage?

  3. Offensive?

    What exactly is the Disgrace to the Irish Day all about besides nonstop, vomit inducing liquid drugs? Alcohol.

    If the type of out of control lawlessness occurred in any other part of the city perpetrated by any other group it would be called a riot.

    The great Irish people deserve a day in their honor that does not indulge the worst elements of there ethnic class.

    Exactly who benefits from this horrendous display of inebriated excess but a few bar owners?

    Hold the celebration on the boardwalk like the person above suggested.

    Do not allow alcohol.

    That alone will cut the crowd doen by 50%

  4. Why is it that ANYTIME a news person wants a comment from Irish-Americans on ANY topic they head to the local bar and interview the biggest boozehound in the place?

    Think about it.

    Do they go to a crack house to get a comment from African-Americans?

    Do they stop by the local Mafia hangout to get the Italian-American viewpoint?

    No…………but the Irish?

    No problem smearing them.

    Its time the Irish in Long Beach stand up and say they have had enough of their good name being associated with the West End travesty.

    Move Irish Day to the boardwalk where it can be observed sans alcohol and in a way that the great Irish people deserve.

  5. It was originally a nice day with great bag pipes and Irish vendors.
    Now its:
    The LBPD has corralling the drinking behind blockades and using this large tree trimming looking basket to hover over the crowd.

    It’s the aftermath of the Event which is unacceptable. Young girls plastered beyond their abilities with green shamrocks melting down their vomited encrusted shirts laying on an Oceanview curb. Maybe it’s the couple having intercourse between our narrow pathways of homes.
    The vendors selling the same sweaters from fair to fair, The overinflated chair that is just to gross to sit on.

    The family will go. Watch the parade, eat sweet potatoe fries, buy our 50/50 and win another gold fish that have some freaky way of living more than a year. We will have our own corned beef with friends and pray that the out of towners don’t get into cars at the end of the night.

  6. I would love for the city to take this to a vote. My wife and I usually leave the West End on Irish Day because it’s such a travesty. It would be interesting to give the residents a vote and see the outcome.

  7. I was astounded at the depravity in the West End. I had heard my neighbors complain in the past about public urination, vomiting etc. but to actually witness it not once, twice but over a dozen times on one block was insane.
    No cops. Wait, I take that back. They were huddled in threes on bikes not being able to move through the overwhelming crowd. If the City can’t handle Irish Day then the East End lucked out when Sofield cancelled the drinking at Quiksilver.

    Where was the Eye in the sky?
    Why weren’t the red cups being tossed into cans as they were in the past?
    Security was lax to say the least at the bars which hover over a few corners and allowed their patrons to “escape” their pens to cause a nice day to be marred should be fined.

    The West End continues to be literally pissed on.

  8. I would love to see the results of a vote of West End residents who do or do not want this day to continue. It could effect my decision to continue residing in the West End. I know its only one day but anyone with a sense of pride (which I have, I love the West End) would want this embarrassment to end. Thats just my humble opinion.

  9. I figured that I would share some information that many may not be aware of. This link will take you to the NYS Liquor Authority’s website, and will show that Tom Sofield, Jr.’s wife holds the liquor license to the bar known as the Whale’s Tale. So, the Long Beach City Council President’s wife holds the liquor license for a LB bar!

  10. Stop complaining and go to the City Council meeting. email AOH, the West End neighbors. This is my real name I’m not hiding behind a screen name. I can’t be alone on this. I saw some things that blew me away. If there is open communication between parties it can be a great day for our City.If you don’t say anything now come next year you’ll make the same complaints without anything being done to improve it.

    maybe people have complained to the Powers that be, I don’t know. please let me know.

    and I LIKE St. Brendan’s Day and don’t want to see it go East.

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