On Saturday, March 7th, over 1,200 people gathered at Main Street in Riverhead for the first ever March of the Leprechauns, a St. Patrick’s Day themed pub crawl. Dressed up in honor of “All Things Green,” attendees had their pick of eleven East End bars and restaurants including The Suffolk Theater, Vines and Hops, Joe’s Garage, Tweeds, Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, Digger O’dells, Cliff’s Rendezvous, Hotel Indigo/ Bistro 72, Long Ireland Brewery, Uncle Joe’s Pizza, and The Riverhead Diner and Grill.
Pub crawlers really supported the theme, donning a variety of ethereal characters like leprechauns, fairies, and even Gumby made an appearance. “We had no idea what to expect,” said Nicole Evers, Director of Private Events for the Suffolk Theater. “With our last town-wide celebration Santacon, the name ‘Santacon’ was known– Santacons are held all over the world. No one’s ever held a March of the Leprechauns before.”
To raise awareness for the benefit, Paddy, the event’s grumpy but endearing mascot, stopped by the participating vendors prior to the event to showcase their charm and spread the word about the fun afternoon in downtown Riverhead. “These pub crawls are an all-around win.” said Bunnii Buglione of Aquebogue. “They support our local downtown businesses, bring a young and fun community to explore Riverhead, and we get to raise funds and awareness for causes that really hit close to home.”
While the final numbers aren’t in yet, the event was definitely a success. Proceeds from March of the Leprechauns nearly doubled that of the inaugural Santacon in December. “The net proceeds will be split evenly between The East End Emerald Society and Maureen’s Haven,” noted Evers. “We’re proud to say each group will receive over $6,000.”
The Santacon and March of the Leprechauns organizers are already thinking ahead to their next crawl. “We’re thinking summer/Fall” said Evers. “We’ve already been approached by several charities who’d like to be considered.” As for the theme, that’s being kept a secret, for now. “We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise,” said Evers.