Story and Photos
By Katie McFadden
Even though the sun wasn’t shining, Irish eyes were still smiling all weekend at Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 21’s 10th Annual Rockaway/Breezy Point Irish Festival.
On June 3 and 4, all who went to St. Camillus had a grand ol’ time celebrating Irish culture. The weekend included live performances by Night Visitors, Breezy Point Pipes and Drums, The McClean Avenue Band, Celtic Cross and The Gobshites on Saturday and The Brooklyn Bards, the O’Malley Irish Step Dancers, The Canny Brothers, The Narrowbacks and Big Night Out (formerly Fool’s Night Out) on Sunday. Drinks were pouring, plenty of food options were available, vendors sold Irish goods and there was plenty of activity for the kids with Rochelle Grubb doing face painting, bouncy houses and more. Robbie Salmon and Bill Gehlhaus kept adults and kids entertained by getting dunked in the dunk tank that helped the AOH raise funds for charity.
Celebrating Irish culture and raising money to give back to Rockaway’s charitable organizations are why AOH Division 21 holds the festival year after year. “Thank you, everyone, for coming out and supporting this festival. The weather wasn’t the best, but you guys showed that you’re true troopers and, as always, we do this to raise funds for various charities here on the Rockaway peninsula,” Festival Chairman John Moroney said, before the drawing of the big 50/50 winner, who went home with a $25,000 prize, plus 10 other $1,000 prize winners.
Mark Edwards, president of AOH Div. 21 said, “I want to thank every one of you for coming out and supporting us. By supporting us, you support your community.” He urged any young male to consider joining the organization so to continue the good work they do. If interested, head to their next meeting at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club on Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m., or contact Edwards at: email@example.com or at 646-662-2393.