St. Patrick’s Day sits pretty low down on the totem pole of holidays. It’s not a day for gift-giving. Few decorate their homes for it. It has religious connections, but most ignore church services in favor of a couple pints of Guinness. It’s not even a holiday that warrants a day off from work.
For all of these reasons, St. Patrick’s Day often just looks like a few co-workers wearing green shirts to the office. But not this year. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, March 17 to be exact — a rare occurrence that means folks can go all out, all day.
Three towns, Stone Harbor, Wildwood and Sea Isle City, are taking full advantage of this lucky day. Here’s what they have in store.
Stone Harbor has been hosting its take on a polar plunge, the Shhhiver sponsored by the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce, for eight years now. But it just so happens that this year it coincides with St. Patrick’s Day, a fact that makes Marnie Lengle, coordinator for the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce, suspect that people will be sporting a ton of green to the Shhhiver, an event that encourages participants to come in costume.
St. Patrick’s Day means many things for many people. For some, it’s a religious celebration …
“We definitely anticipate lots of green — both for St. Paddy’s Day and our beloved Super Bowl Champs — the Philadelphia Eagles! This year’s Shhhiver apparel (commemorative T-shirts and hoodies) was influenced by both of these things, also,” she says.
The weekend of festivities begins 6 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor (9001 Sunset Dr.). A $20 entry fee gets you into the Pre-Shhhiver Party, with a buffet, cash bar and live auction. Also before the Shiver is Fred’s Tavern’s “Kegs & Eggs” event 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Shhhiver Parade beings at 11 a.m. from Fred’s Tavern, where participants will march down to the Women’s Civic Center, accompanied by music from the Fralinger String Band. There, a costume contest with categories including Best Individual Costume, Best Team Name, Best Float and Best Team Performance (so feel free to write up a theme song for your group) will be judged.
The actual dip takes place at 1 p.m., followed by a party at Fred’s Tavern (314 96th Street). A portion of the money raised will benefit Family Promise of Cape May County, an organization that works to house homeless families. Volunteers from Family Promise will be on hand at the Pre-Shhhiver party to sell auction tickets and 50/50, while sharing information about their organization.
“People love this town,” says Lengle. “This has become a tradition for family and friends to be part of this close-knit community by being here on a chilly March weekend the beach. I think some folks see it as a cleansing, some see it as a challenge. Others just do it because they’re crazy!”
Registration is $30 or $40 for adults and $20 or $35 for kids. The lower price includes a long-sleeve T-shirt, while the higher gets you a hooded sweatshirt. Register online at Active.com and for more info head to StoneHarborBeach.com.
As ever, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will roll through the streets of North Wildwood, celebrating the holiday with flashy fun and plenty of green. The parade stops off in front of North Wildwood City Hall at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, proceeding north on Atlantic Avenue to Olde New Jersey Avenue.
Marchers include VFW Color Guard, Vietnam Veterans of America, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish Pipe Brigade, Emerald Society, Miss North Wildwood, Queen Oceania, Anglesea Irish Society, Sheriff Mounted Patrol, local school bands and more.
Whether you’re Irish — or just wish you were — this promises to be a St. Patrick’s Day for t…
Follow up the parade with a pint at a local Irish pub like The Anglesea (116 W. 1st Ave., North Wildwood), where authentic Irish music will be performed by Northern Ireland-native Patsy Bradley.
Go to NorthWildwood.com for more.
Sea Isle City
Sea Isle City is a town with deep Irish roots. So, it’s only fitting that it throws one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the area. It begins 1 p.m. Saturday at Kix McNutley’s, where Mayor Lenny Desiderio will host a best dressed competition. Categories include Best Dressed Irish Individual and Best Dressed Irish Group, and the winners will be asked to walk in the parade to follow. The contest begins at 2 p.m., but get there at 1 p.m. for the annual Jameson “Warm Up.”
At 3:30 p.m. the parade takes off at 83rd Street and Landis Avenue. The route will continue down Landis to 63rd street. Expect pipe-and-drum music, municipal and county officials, Sea Isle’s 2018 “Irish Royal Family” and a strong showing of Irish residents rocking their best green digs.
The party doesn’t stop after the parade. Mayor Desiderio and his family will host their Irish Celebration back at Kix McNutley’s into the night. The party features $3 Bud and Bud Light 16-ounce bottles until 8 p.m. and no cover charge.
Kix McNutley’s 63rd St., Sea Isle City. Go to KixMcNutleys.com.