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Patchogue Wassail and Bar Crawl 2017

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The Tap Room

114 West Main Street

Patchogue, NY 11772

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Event description


On this crawl, we will be wassailing our way through four excellent Patchogue pubs and bars, while learning about a beautiful and ancient winter tradition. The crawl terminates at Hoptron Brewtique, Long Island’s destination for home brewers and craft beer lovers. Here, you may enjoy a flight of beers historically associated with the Christmas season.

The Mari Lwyd (pronounced “Mary La-eed,” Welsh for "white, or pure mare,") is the centerpiece of our wassail adventure. The Mari is a horse skull mounted to the end of a pole. The carrier hides under a white sheet, while a spring-loaded jaw allows him/her to snap at brave pedestrians who inquire too closely.

It is a Welsh custom, but variations on the Mari can be seen throughout regions where Celtic culture has survived. The Mari is a solar symbol; a vestige from a time when the horse goddess Rhiannon was worshipped throughout the British Isles. Her presence marks the passage of the dark days of winter and the return of the sun. Earlier still, the Mari Lwyd has it's roots in Paleolithic shamanic traditions.

The practice of Christmas caroling traces its origins to the ritualized begging seen in the Middle Ages, when it was known as wassailing. A convoy of cavorting merrymakers leads the Mari to pubs, at which point a series of riddles and rhymes are exchanged with those inside. Eventually, the doors would open and the wassailers would enter, where they are offered food and drink. In return for their hospitality, those inside receive a blessing from the Mari, as her appearance is a token of good luck for the coming New Year.

We will be meeting on the second floor of The Tap Room for a discussion on the Mari Lwyd before setting out. We ask that you please reserve your place with Eventbrite, as there is a limit of 20 spots. A suggested donation of $10 is being collected to benefit the Cemetery Restoration Committee. Drinks are not included, but will be discounted along the crawl. In the event of light rain, bring an umbrella. Heavy downpour would likely cancel the event, so please check our Facebook page for details.

We hope you can join us for this informative and fun Christmas experience!


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Our event does not require an ID, but you should bring it in case the bartenders proof you. You are also welcome to bring your kids. This is a family friendly event, and the children are sure to love the Mari Lwyd!

What does my money go towards?

The $10 price of your ticket will be used by the Cemetery Restoration Committee to maintain the historic cemeteries on the corner of Waverly Avenue and West Main Street.

What are my parking options?

Parking is available behind the courthouse and Carnegie Library.

How long is this tour?

We begin our talk at noon, and will arrive at Hoptron by 3pm. We will be walking approximately 2/10 mile.

Where are we stopping?

We will be visiting The Tap Room, Brickhouse Brewery, and Hoptron Brewtique. In between each pub, we will stop and learn about the village's historic places.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. At the event, just give your name to your tour guide in order to confirm.

When do I pay?

By registering on EventBrite, you are only reserving your place on the tour. Cash donations can be made on the day of the tour.

What if it rains?

A light drizzle will not deter us. Heavy downpours however, could cancel the event. Check the Long Island History and Pub Facebook page, or call the Chamber of Commerce (see below).

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact David Kennedy at the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce (631-207-1000) or Long Island History and Pub on Facebook.

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The Tap Room

114 West Main Street

Patchogue, NY 11772

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