Peeling preps for St. Patrick's Parade

By Kelly McCarthy

March 1, 2013 Updated Mar 2, 2013 at 1:48 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The day where thousands of people will be dressed in green and crowding downtown Binghamton takes a lot of food preparations.

The oldest Irish bar in Broome County is getting ready for the St. Patrick's Parade.

Buried under piles of potato skins and buckets of peeled vegetables is a group volunteers looking for a good time.

"This is my first year joining the group and I've always heard how much fun they'll have every year, so I couldn't resist," said Nance Libous, of Binghamton. "Ever since I've been here it's been a laugh a minute."

They say they're taking on a task that's meant for the Irish.

More than 800 pounds of vegetables to peel for their annual ham and cabbage dinner.

"I mean could you imagine watching my wife and I sit around trying to peel all of this, potatoes, and carrots, and cabbage today it would never happen," said House of Reardon's Owner Bob Norris.

Dozens of busy hands make this Friday afternoon anything but normal.

"A normal week, purchasing the hams here on a normal week we might buy two hams, this week we bought six cases of hams," Norris said.

For long-time volunteers the pounds of raw vegetables was at first overwhelming.

"When I came in the door years ago and looked at the bags of potatoes and carrots and everything I was just amazed at how much there was I was like holy cow we'll never do this in one day," said Gary Libous, of Binghamton.

Old friends find it easy to pass the time between filling 50 pound bags of vegetables.

"The rest is just who can make fun of who," Libous said. "How many potatoes did you drop?"

And of course, there's always a little friendly competition.

"The women always out due the men," said Nance Libous. "Don't tell them that though!"

Whatever it takes for Broome County's oldest Irish pub to keep downtown Binghamton satisfied on St. Patrick's Parade Day.

"We've got to live up to that, because people will come out once a year, they come here just because of that," Norris said.

Everyone is looking for a hot meal, but most don't leave without a few laughs.

The dinner will be available Saturday and on St. Patrick's Day for $7.25.

They also offer curbside pickup for meals to go.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.