Bucks County Herald

Newtown supervisors cut four-day Irish Festival

Despite Green Parrot pleas, celebration down to two days


Some arguments never seem to end.

In Newtown Township, while the supervisors have approved a two-day special event permit to the Green Parrot restaurant to host the outdoor portion of its eighth annual Irish Festival, there is still some bickering taking place between township and borough residents.

The festival took place over four days last year and some of the residents living nearby had complained. One township resident, John D’Aprile of Newtown Grant, wants to see the annual event continue as a four-day affair.

“I’d like to express my displeasure toward what has transpired regarding the Irish Festival,” said D’Aprile. “This is tax dollars for the township.”

D’Aprile made his opinion known during the Feb. 28 board of supervisors meeting. While residents and area business owners argued back and forth at greater length during the Feb. 14 meeting, there still appeared to be wrangling among residents at this more recent session.

“You don’t see us going over there (into the borough) and telling them how to run their business,” added D’Aprile. “The township should have the final say.”

Board Chairman Phillip Calabro begged to differ, however.

“They can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day 365 days a year,” commented Calabro, after the meeting. “Other than those two days, they have to do it indoors.”

According to an events page on the Green Parrot website, that’s exactly what the restaurant operator plans to do. An Irish Festival kickoff party Thursday night featuring the Celtic tunes of Galaway Guild and the Avalon String Band opens the tent party, Friday, March 16, though the temporary shelter must come down on Sunday, according to Township Manager Kurt Ferguson.

A 5K run – the Newtown Shamrock Shuffle 5K, now in its third year – begins 9 a.m. Saturday morning and will be over by noon as runners are required to maintain a 20-minute per mile pace. Last year, 259 runners took part in the race.

Participants have permission to park their cars at Veterans Park in order to alleviate the impact on the business district.

Green Parrot co-owner and manager Bob Lutz says the restaurant lost money on outlays for shuttle services, ancillary and valet parking and sound monitoring.

“We started planning this event 360 days before it was due to begin,” said Lutz, in an interview with the Herald. “And 40 days before, they tell us we’re only getting two days.

“I think it’s unfair and I’m disappointed but I can only work within the confines of the permit.”

“This is a family-friendly event where you can bring your kids, your mom, your dad, your grandmother.
“It’s not a drunk-fest.”

Supervisor Kyle Davis – who did not attend the Feb. 14 meeting – set forth motions to extend the Green Parrot’s permit to either three or four days. No other supervisor seconded the motion.




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