Leprechauns march through downtown Riverhead: Photos

Green was the color of the day Saturday as hundreds joined in for March of the Leprechauns. (Credit: Cyndi Murray photos)

Green was the color of the day Saturday as hundreds joined in for March of the Leprechauns. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Polyester red beards and green beers equaled a pot of gold for local non-profits Saturday. Donning outfits colored green from head-to-toe, hundreds turned out Saturday for the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day-themed pub crawl dubbed “The March of the Leprechauns.”

Though the holiday itself is nearly two weeks away, that didn’t stop leprechauns from packing downtown pubs and restaurants to enjoy food and drink deals.

“We are getting our Irish on,” said Sue Wells of Jamesport, who was dressed to impress and sharing the day with friends at Long Ireland.

And as one pub crawler, Christina Wilk of Shirley, put it, “You don’t have to be Irish to drink beer and have a good time.”

Following the successful footsteps of Riverhead’s first-ever “SantaCon” in December, more than a dozen downtown businesses hosted leprechauns to benefit Maureen’s Haven and the East End Emerald Society. The latter is raising funds to pay for pipe and drum bands in the Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 28.

Riverhead’s SantaCon event raised about $8,500 for charity and also succeeded in bringing hundreds to downtown bars and restaurants. While the final numbers are still being tallied for Saturday’s festivities, Joe’s Garage owner Ray Dickoff predicted the event would ‘”raise a lot of money.”

“Turn out has been great,” he said. “It is important for all businesses to participate in things like this because it brings people downtown to see the beautiful area we have. Plus, it will raise a lot of money for charity.”

See more photos from The March of the Leprechauns pub crawl on the next page.