The Fire Isle Celebrates St. Pat’s with Style

By Shoshanna McCollumIt almost seemed like there was going to be no St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Fire Island this year. A frozen Great South Bay meant a lack of ferry and freight service for most of 2015 so far. The finishing touches on the renovated Ocean Beach Fire Hall remain just out of reach. And even as the waters began to thaw, it was already too late for that first wave of early season revelers to arrange their traditional St. Patrick’s Day charter boat to Fire Island.At long last, however, the freight boat came to deliver supplies on Monday, March 16. Then came the announcement that passenger ferries would resume the following day – call it luck of the Irish. However Irish luck can be a fickle thing, and it was gray and rainy the next morning, with harsh winds that followed when the sun finally broke in the afternoon. It is still March on Fire Island after all.But it takes a lot more than a strong wind to keep a die-hard Fire Islander from celebrating. CJ’s has been keeping hours all winter and went forward with the free corned beef and cabbage supper they had planned. Kudos to their chef for including turnips in the buffet spread, and bartenders for serving green rocket fuels. Down the street Castaways opened up the bar and the renovations they were working on over the winter look fantastic! Their kitchen will reopen this coming Friday, March 20, which of course is the first day of spring.Holding onto their hats in the wind these lovely ladies await the late afternoon ferry.What CJ’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration would be complete without an O’Rourke at the bar?John J, Kevin K, Cat & Pat show off the new mood lighting at Castaways in festive green.Billy Wirostek donning a festive St. Patty’s Day chapeau.Editor’s Note: CJ’s Restaurant & Bar is owned by Palms Hotel, Inc., the parent company of Fire Island News.