“I am extremely honored and excited to lead the Montauk parade as Grand Marshal,” shared Captain Paul Forsberg of the Viking Fleet, who was chosen by the Montauk Friends of Erin as this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade honoree.
On Sunday, March 20th, Captain Forsber, a 65 year resident and business owner in Montauk, will help the 54th Montauk St. Patrick’s Day Parade step off at 11:30 a.m. and guide the family-friendly floats and fun down Edgemere Street, to South Edison St and finally to Main Street.
“The Montauk Friends of Erin feel that Paul and his family have helped keep Montauk, Montauk,” explained Joey Bloecker about why the organization selected Captain Forsber. “They’ve stuck with the fishing and boating industry throughout the chaos of the past couple of years.”
Along with a procession of amusingly themed platforms, shenanigans at New York’s second largest St. Paddy’s Day parade will include green face-painting, collecting foam shamrocks and shillelaghs to joyfully wave, amassing lucky beads and candy tossed from the floats of East End businesses and fire trucks, performances by Long Island bagpipe bands and more. “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is an important event for Montauk because it signals the start of spring for locals and visitors, as well as brings in thousands of people to the hamlet that patronize businesses –restaurants, shops, hotels and our soup sale,” noted Laraine Creegan, Executive Director of the Montauk Chamber. The morning kicks off at 10 a.m., with the Chamber’s annual soup sale featuring varieties from local restaurants, which come in commemorative mugs, of course. This year’s participants include Montauk Yacht Club, Tillie’s of Gurney’s Inn, Duryea’s Lobster Dock, Inlet Seafood, John’s Pancake House, Sole East and more.
In 2013, Captain Forsber released a memoir, “Gone Fishin’ with the Viking Fleet,” which recounts over 75 years of Forsberg history. “He’s a reminder of where we came from and where we want to be,” added Bloecker.
You can start the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a little early by attending one of the Montauk Friends of Erin pre-events, which begin with the 11th Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner at the Point Bar & Grill on Saturday, March 12th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Next up is the Grand Marshal’s Luncheon at Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina, which features a comical roast of Grand Marshal Captain Forsber and a presentation of his parade sash, top hat and shillelagh. The Luncheon will take place on Saturday, March 19th from 12 to 3 p.m., and will be followed by the Friends of Erin Gala Cocktail Party at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa from 4 to 8 p.m.
For tickets or more information, visit www.montaukfriendsoferin.org.