About a thousand people lined Main Road in Jamesport today for the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade held in the Town of Riverhead.
“It was very good, especially for the first,” said the parade’s smiling Grand Marshal, Jack Cuddy. “Even the weather was good.”
With about ten groups — including a fire department — showing up unexpectedly, the lineup expanded to nearly 40 participating groups for the parade, which began at 1 o’clock at Washington Avenue and proceeded along Main Road to South Jamesport Avenue.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big,” parade organizer Sean O’NeiLL said. “I thought maybe we’d have about a dozen. This was just outstanding. I can’t say enough nice things about our community, with all the help and support we got.”
The parade was sponsored by a newly formed nonprofit organization called the East End Emerald Society, cofounded by O’NeiLL, John Cuddy, Walter Magee and Brandon Hewes. It was organized with the help of additional trustees such as Rich Stephenson and Sean McCabe.
Mason Haas emceed the parade. “I think it went very well,” Haas said after it was over. “Of course we had our bumps, with so many people showing up at the last minute. But we made it work. Next year’s will be bigger and better,” Haas said.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” O’NeiLL said.
The Riverhead Town Board turned out for the history-making occasion, with Councilman George Gabrielsen, a Jamesport farmer, riding his tractor.
“If they can do this in four weeks, there’s no doubt in my mind this can be as big as the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade on Long Island,” Walter said. “Everything’s bigger and better in Riverhead,” he added.
RiverheadLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl
Click thumbnails to enlarge images