Local and visiting residents will be able to fully appreciate the famous green line painted down the center of Montauk Highway once again as the ’s 22nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off this Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
For 21 years, the town has hosted this parade, bringing a large crowd reaching approximately 25,000 people. Chamber president Laura Rogacki said the parade brings prestige and acknowledgement for the community, while serving as an annual gathering for friends and family.
“I think people look forward to making it part of an annual tradition,” Rogacki said. “People in and outside the community come back year after year to view the parade. Many people have a favorite spot that they like to view the parade from.”
Flo and Alden Olsson were selected as this year’s grand marshals and have the privilege of directing the 70-plus organizations marching in the parade. The Olssons have been dedicated to the preservation of the community. Both have been active members of the Bayport Heritage Association and have lived in Bayport for the majority of their lives.
“Flo and Alden are two wonderful people who symbolize exactly what our chamber looks for when choosing grand marshals,” Rogacki said. “They are kind, compassionate, active in their community within so many venues, and most of all, they never want to be recognized for what they do. They are very humble about their accomplishments and would prefer to stay ‘under-the-radar’ than be recognized.”
The Olssons have also done restoration work at Meadow Croft and assisted in youth guidance at the . Now, Flo works at the circulation desk.
Rogacki said community spirit is a big part of why the chamber continues to host the parade each year, but many residents are unaware of how much it costs. She said the chamber shells out between $25,000 and $30,000 each year.
“The greatest cost is the Irish pipe bands that beautifully entertain the community and marchers alike,” she said. “It just wouldn't be the same without these bands, but they cost money.”
Although it costs a hefty amount of money, Rogacki said seeing everyone having a good time is the most important part.
“My favorite part of the parade is seeing how excited not only the local residents are about viewing and cheering on the marchers, but seeing how excited our chamber members get," she said.
The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on Snedecor Avenue near the . It will continue down Montauk Highway and finally end near on Blue Point Avenue in Blue Point. Remember to wear a lot of green!
The rain date for the parade is Sunday, March 18.
You can browse some and remember to send your parade photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share them with everyone.