March Into Spring

St. Pats Parades, Ice Skating, Theater & More on the East End.

Memorial Day weekend may be the “official” start of summer but March is the true herald of the East End summer season. Longer, lighter days, warming weather and St. Patrick’s Day parades beckon us to return to the shores of the East End.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades
Get right into the St. Pat’s swing of things by attending the annual fundraiser for the 53rd annual Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Parade at The Claddagh on Saturday, March 5 (for more details: The parade, which marks the return of many to the East End, is a fun-filled family affair down Main Street starting at noon on March 12. Local groups and businesses compete for best parade float representing this year’s parade theme (which has yet to be determined), including the “Coneheads” – who create a themed float lampooning politics and current events. By the way, don’t even try to find out who they are going to lampoon each year, it’s a tightly guarded secret! 

Hampton Bays’ parade is all pipe bands, Irish dancers and youth groups marching right down Montauk Highway on March 19 starting at 11am. Sponsored by the Hampton Bays Hibernians, the parade route begins at the Hampton Bays Elementary School on Ponquogue Avenue to Montauk Highway and west to the reviewing stand, ending in the Hampton Atrium parking lot. The parade features bagpipe bands, various floats, Irish dancers and local youth groups.

The 60th Annual Montauk Parade weekend, sponsored by Montauk Friends of Erin, kicks off Saturday, March 26 at the Annual Fundraising Cocktail Party. Tickets are $75; for more information: The parade starts Sunday, March 27 at noon. Well-known as the “second” largest parade in New York, the Montauk parade has a reputation as a raucous party bar hop among many Montauk eating and drinking establishments. Parade goers are encouraged to take public transportation, including Hampton Jitney and the LIRR. 

See the Seals in Westhampton Dunes, Montauk and Riverhead
In March and April, harbor seals inhabit the East End coastal waters. While you may happen upon some seals at any point while taking a beach walk along the Atlantic, the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island offers guided seal walks at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton Dunes. New York State Parks hosts seal watching at Montauk Point State Park. If all else fails, you can always visit the harbor seals in residence at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.

Seal Exhibit at Long Island Aquarium

Ice Skating and Golf Southampton
Yup, ice skating and golf, together at the same time. The East End’s only covered, refrigerated rink, Southampton Ice Rink located at 668 County Road 39 in Southampton operates daily with open skate times for the public. While the kids are skating, you can book some time on the golf simulator to play any one of 90 available courses. Heated igloos are available for rent with seating for up to 6 people. Local Burger is the on-site restaurant serving up some of the best burgers on the East End and sells beer/wine/liquor. For additional information:

Southampton Ice Rink. Photo: Ron Esposito

Ice Skating at Buckskill Winter Club
The Buckskill Ice Rink is the only refrigerated, NHL regulation-sized, ice rink in the Hamptons. Located at 178 Buckskill Road, East Hampton, Buckskill offers public ice skating, skate rentals, hockey and figure skating programs and lessons on its large, open-air rink. There’s a full-service snack bar available. For more information:

Theater-goers can catch an array of shows at local East-End theaters. See a film screening or a live theater shows on Fridays and Saturdays at the Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts. Guild Hall in East Hampton is open Fridays through Mondays, presenting art exhibits as well as live theater performances. Westhampton Performing Arts Center hosts a varied line-up of comedians, mainstream musical acts, cover bands and art films every weekend. At Suffolk County Theater in Riverhead, you can see tribute bands, comedians and catch some oldies-but-goodies like Frankie Avalon and the Zombies. For additional information:,,, and

The Sixties Show at Bay Street Theater