With St. Patrick’s Day parades canceled or postponed state-wide once again this year due to ongoing COVID restrictions, Patchogue managed to find the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with a tasty Irish soda bread contest, hosted by the Greater Patchogue Foundation and held this past Sunday at the BrickHouse Brewery.
Six Patchogue establishments entered: James Joyce, Harbor Crab, Village Idiot, Swan Bakery, the Patchogue VFW Post 2913 and the BrickHouse Brewery.
Through an anonymous ballot, the difficult choice was made by the afternoon lunch patrons as they tapped their toes along to the Irish tunes of Bangers and Mash. Each entry was delicious, boasting just the right consistency, subtle sweetness and plump raisins characteristic of a traditional soda bread.
BrickHouse Brewery accepted the first-place win, humbly reminding everyone it was a blind taste test and thanking the voters.
Members of the Roisin Dubh Irish Pipe Band escorted the 2021 grand marshal Dennis Smith, accompanied by past grand marshals as he announced the “Here We Go Again”; plus, two plans for the “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” parade to be held this Sept. 19 as part of Patchogue’s weekend-long Heritage Celebration; Friday, Sept. 17 the third annual Hispanic Cultural Festival will take place and Saturday, Sept. 18, the Italian community will celebrate the Saint Liberata Festival.
Smith said he was honored and proud to be the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day parade grand marshal and expressed, “Never could my parents have imagined when they moved here from Brooklyn 65 years ago that one day their son, grandchildren and great-grandkids would march down Main Street,” leading the parade.
He thanked everyone and said we’re all looking forward to having a grand, glorious day on Sept. 19.