Dawn Thomas of Jamesport has been named grand marshal of this year's Jamesport St. Patrick's Day parade. Photo: Julia-Anna Searson

Riverhead community development administrator Dawn Thomas will be the grand marshal of the Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade this year — the first woman to have the honor. 

The seventh annual parade will be held on Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m. 

“I am certainly very honored to have been selected as the grand marshal,” Thomas said. 

Thomas, a Jamesport resident, is of Irish heritage and is looking forward to seeing her friends, family and fellow community members attend the parade. 

“There are many, many families of Irish heritage in town so it’s great to see our Irish heritage and culture honored in this way,” she said. “And, everyone loves a great St. Patrick’s Day parade  — so it’s great for community spirit.”

As in previous years, a grand marshal dinner will be held to honor Thomas and raise money to defray costs of the parade, which is hosted by the East End Emerald Society. The grand marshal dinner will take place on Feb. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Vineyards in Aquebogue. Tickets are $45.

“Dawn’s name just kept coming up,” said John Cuddy, charter member of the East End Emerald Society, which founded the parade in 2014. “She is someone recognized for positive impacts to the town.”

Thomas served as Riverhead town attorney for a decade before leaving in 2011 to take a post as a law clerk for a State Supreme Court Justice. She returned to town government as a deputy town attorney in 2016 and was appointed to the community development administrator position in 2017.

“All of the prior grand marshals are amazing public servants and community members,” said Thomas. “So it’s humbling to now be included in that group.”

Past grand marshals were: Jack Cuddy (2014), Allen Smith (2015), Sean McCabe (2016), James Wooten (2017), Sean Walter (2018) and Joseph Grattan (2019).

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