OAKLAND -- The luck of the Irish will strike Montclair with an extended St. Patrick's Day celebration, taking advantage of the fact that the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, allowing for a daylong celebration throughout the Village.
Residents will have the opportunity to take part in on-street festivities, featured side-by-side with the weekly Montclair Farmers Market.
Crogan's will offer outdoor seating with music, bar service and an Irish menu, including traditional fare of corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef, Irish stew, Smithwick's Irish Ale fish and chips, corned beef sandwiches, potato leek soup and more, said Crogan's manager Mike Williams.
Grill One Carvery on Mountain Boulevard will honor the day with a beer garden, replete with craft beers and Irish meats. Farmstead Cheeses and Wine will kick off its Sunday wine tasting from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and may showcase some cheeses from the region.
The bagpipes will break into song from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Daniel Swafford, executive director of the Montclair Village Association, seeks to celebrate the Irish saint in a big way.
"Let's build on the excitement of the day," he said. "Let's blow it up. Make it more exciting and hope to create a new tradition."
Saint Patrick's Day commemorates the life of its namesake, who died in the fifth century on March 17. He is widely credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Few details are actually known about the saint's life; however, centuries of storytelling have produced myriad tales, many of which are not true.
"It's a great day to be Irish no matter what color your skin is or where you're from," said Avril Fitzgerald, an Irish transplant and Montclair resident. "Everyone can find an Irish relative. It's a very inclusive holiday, especially in the United States. Everyone takes the opportunity to have fun, dress up, drink a pint of Guinness and tell jokes.
"In Ireland, there is not the same degree of high jinks," continued Fitzgerald. The holiday is a more solemn occasion. Families attend church in the morning and celebrate with their families in the afternoon.
"The Irish never had much to celebrate," Fitzgerald said. "Saint Patrick's Day is the only day we can be proud to be Irish. To have a day to celebrate being Irish and the whole world celebrates with you is really cool."