(Feb. 28, 2014) The second annual Finnegan’s Wake, a mock Irish funeral inspired by its namesake song, is tomorrow, March 1, in Seacrets’ Morley Hall from 5-9 p.m.
For $20 at the door, mourners-gone-partygoers will enjoy drinks, live Irish music, a special menu, mock funeral procession and wailing contest with prizes while raising money for the Friends of the Worcester County Developmental Center.
“It’s a lot of fun — the best way to start the St. Patty’s Day season,” Executive Director at WCDC Jack Ferry said.
The wake kicks off at 5:15 p.m. with a funeral procession complete with the Ocean City Pipes and Drums, clergy members, mourners, pallbearers, St. Patrick and even a leprechaun or two.
At the end of the march, the bearers will place Finnegan’s casket at its viewing site, where attendees will have the chance to tell him a joke or funny story for $1, with the goal of raising him from the dead with laughter. Those who succeed score a free drink at the bar.
Following the Irish tradition of hiring professional keeners to mourn for the departed, Finnegan’s Wake will also host a keening contest, with the most emphatic, emotional mourner winning a $50 cash prize.
Local performer Patrick McAllorum will provide entertainment, singing “Finnegan’s Wake” and other songs accompanied by Irish fiddlers. There will also be a sing-along.
The idea for Finnegan’s Wake came from a similar event in Pennsylvania, Ferry said. “It was something that was real different and nobody had really heard about it before.”
Around 130 attended the inaugural event at Seacrets last year, raising more than $3,000 for the Friends of the Worcester County Developmental Center.
“Last year we had a wonderful time,” said Cathy Gallagher, president of the Friends of the Worcester County Development Center, which sponsors Finnegan’s Wake. “We had so many nice comments from people who attended the first wake that we (are) expecting a great crowd.”
Now that Ocean City residents know what the wake’s about, “we’ve had a lot of good buzz,” Ferry said. He’s expecting 200 to attend this year’s event.
Finnegan’s wake raises money for the Friends of the WCDC, which provides employment opportunities, day habilitation training, residential services and community-based supports for adults with developmental disabilities in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties.
Money raised at Finnegan’s Wake helped buy supplies such as sensory stimulation kits, tool kits and puzzles for clients last year, as well as fund monthly birthday parties with cupcakes and Subway gift cards and a family picnic over the summer, Ferry said.
“It’s all for the clients, the families and the programs of WCDC,” he said. “It’s a good time for a great cause.”
Seacrets will offer happy hour drink prices and an Irish menu during Finnegan’s Wake.
Visit www.wcdcservices.org to learn more about the WCDC. Call 410-632-2383 for more information about Finnegan’s Wake.