Packed parade

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The fourth annual Hampton Bays St. Patrick’s Day Parade, hosted by the Michael Collins Division 11 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, stepped off at Ponquogue Avenue on a crisp and windy, but sunny March 29. Led by the Hampton Bays Coast Guard group and the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, the line of march extended to more than 80 participating parade entities comprised of local political figures, Grand Marshal Eric Sutton, 12 bagpipe bands, school bands, fire companies, fraternal, civic and church groups, local merchant floats and Scout troops.

Once again, hundreds of spectators cheered the marchers on and enjoyed the high-spirited camaraderie of this annual event. Rosy-cheeked children clothed in Kelly green waved American flags at the many marchers, musicians, vehicles and floats that traversed the parade route along Montauk Highway.

Our gratitude is extended to a long list of local merchants, organizations and individuals who have made this Hampton Bays community event a yearly success. Financially, the parade was supported by a fund-raiser held at the Boardy Barn in August, pipe band sponsors and advertisement sponsors in the parade journal. Donations from the parade’s net proceeds are given to local non-sectarian organizations or needy persons or families.

Special recognition for parade sponsorships are awarded to: Mulvey Plumbing & Heating, Weber & Grahn, King Kullen, Shinnecock Hardware, R Squared, Suffolk County National Bank, Nancy and Douglas Lobel, and Bill Hughes and family. Our heartfelt thanks is also extended to the Southampton Town Police, the Southampton Town Highway and Parks & Recreation departments, Council 7023 of the Knights of Columbus, Monsignor Regan, pastor of St. Rosalie’s Church, for the use of the parish hall following the parade, and to the ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernians for their superb hosting efforts.

Looking ahead to our fifth annual parade in 2009, we are planning a fund-raiser evening at the Boardy Barn on Saturday, August 23, and would appreciate your continued support for this great community event.

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