It was a busy weekend for first responders after the annual Saint Brendan the Navigator Irish Heritage Day Parade and Festival on Saturday.
Long Beach police made 17 arrests, issued 27 violation of city ordinance tickets, 20 tickets for alcohol possession or consumption in public, six for urination and one for a fire on the beach. They impounded six cars from the parade route “that didn’t honor our no parking signs,” said Police Commissioner and Acting City Manager Michael Tangney.
“The majority [of the arrests] were disorderly conducts,” he said, adding that one arrest was for cocaine possession. “There was really nothing major, just people that wouldn’t listen when we told them to knock it off, and ended up getting arrested for disorderly conduct because of drinking.”
Tangney said that this year was more controlled than previous years.
“The issue is that we always get the same number of people that over-indulge,” he said.
The West End bars and restaurants stopped admitting patrons at 1 a.m. and closed by 2 a.m., Tangney said, to reduce the number of potential late-night incidents.
“They honored every commitment that they had,” he said.
“Irish Day was better this year from my perspective than in previous years,” said West End resident Brendan Healy, chairman of the West End Neighbors Civic Association’s committee on standards and quality of life. “The evidence that work that the community has been doing has been with West End establishments could be seen this year during Irish Day. While there were significant crowds, there were less disturbances, from what I understand. By and large, there was definitely a lot of people but less than what it was in the past, and the police did a fantastic job this year, including controlling the crowds and keeping order.”
Between early Saturday and early Sunday, the Long Beach Fire Department received 43 emergency calls, fire officials said.
“It was a busy weekend, but only about 11 calls we attribute to the Irish Day festivities,” Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said. Most of the calls were for intoxicated people, he said, some of whom suffered from minor, non-life-threatening injuries.
On Sunday at 3:30 p.m., firefighters rushed to Edwards Boulevard beach after receiving a call that a child was in distress in the water and calling for help.
Firefighters determined that it was a man from Yonkers who entered the water, and local surfers pulled him out when he yelled for help. The man, who was not identified, refused medical attention, and police issued him a summons for swimming while lifeguards were not on duty.