The March of the Leprechuans pub crawl this year drew more than 1,000 participants decked out in leprechaun and fairy themed costumes. Photo: Denise Civiletti

St. Patrick’s Day came early in Riverhead this year.  The March of the Leprechauns brought revelers from near and far to Main Street to celebrate all things Irish with a pub crawl to raise money for the East End Emerald Society and Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach.

Members of the Eastern Long Island Police Pipe and Drums marched through downtown performing on the sidewalks, in various restaurants and at the Suffolk Theater, which organized and promoted the event.

The weather cooperated — with sunshine and warmer temperatures than Riverhead has seen in recent days and, most importantly, no rain or snow.

Steve Wirth, owner of the Irish pub Diggers Ales and Eats on West Main Street said his place was full from the 1 p.m. start of the event. “People are all having a good time and enjoying it. I think it’s nice just to be able to get outside after all that snow and bad weather, too,” he said. Diggers offered Irish specials on its menu, like corned beef and cabbage, and bangers and mash and had an Irish rock band perform from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Event bracelets sold for $10 each entitled “leprechauns” to food and drink specials at participating restaurants and pubs, many of which offered live music for the event.  Proceeds from the sale of bracelets will be divided between Maureen’s Haven and the East End Emerald Society, which founded the Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2014. (The parade will take place on Main Road in Jamesport on March 28 this year.)

The March of the Leprechauns was the second pub crawl downtown, following a successful SantaCon in December, which drew a huge crowd despite rainy weather.

Riverhead Police did not report any major disturbances yesterday. A “Stop DWI” enforcement action in the downtown area yesterday afternoon and evening resulted in three DWI arrests, police said. Police had extra foot patrols downtown for the event to enforce open container and public intoxication laws and maintain order, just in case, Supervisor SeanWalter said yesterday.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl and Denise Civiletti

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.