Freeporter and bartender Jason Holin was practically running in circles behind the bar at Jeremy’s Ale House on the Nautical Mile last Saturday during the first LepreCon Long Island Irish Pride Bar Crawl. The festivities attracted roughly 500 partygoers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, according to Mike Marra, owner of Unique Bar Crawls in Farmingdale. LepreCon is similar to SantaCon, but instead of streets crowded with Santas, there are leprechauns.
Revelers from Freeport, Bellmore, Island Park, Oceanside, Wantagh and beyond bounced from bar to bar, enjoying green beer, mixed drinks and traditional Nautical Mile cuisine from local restaurants. The party started at Nawlins Seafood Company and carried on at Rachel’s Waterside Grill, Hurricane Harry’s, Jeremy’s Ale House, Riverhouse Grille, Halfway Down, EB Elliot’s and The Helm. The after-parties at BrewSA and EB Elliot’s offered two different experiences — dance, at Elliot’s, or unwinding, at BrewSA.
Despite all the merriment, Marra said that the event’s focus was to raise money for the Brian Moore Memorial Fund, a nonprofit organization that honors the memory of a New York City police officer from Long Island who died in the line of duty. The fund provides scholarships for students and financial assistance for police officers, firefighters and military personnel.
Desiree Murphy, of Oceanside, brought her entire family — sons, sisters-in-law, parents — and a handful of friends. It wasn’t just an excuse to get out on the weekend, Murphy said. She loved the crawl for two reasons — it was “close to home and for a great cause.”
“Our goal was to bring people together to support the community,” Marra said. “There are a million things to do between Long Island and Manhattan, but Freeport is the ideal place to bring people together to have fun.”
Though bar crawls tend to get a bad rap, he said, he hoped that through the partnerships and experiences his company provides, people will see that ultimately they are about community.
“It’s not a bunch of drunken hooligans,” Marra said. “It’s more than just a bar crawl coming together to have drinks. It’s a party element that helps nonprofit organizations.”