This year on March 22, 2014, Jamesport will join Montauk, Westhampton, Hampton Bays, Amagansett, and Cutchogue as East End villages hosting annual St. Patrick's Day parades.
Presented by the newly formed East End Emerald Society
, the parade and the society itself are the brainchild of Sean O'Neill, John Cuddy, Walter Magee and Brandon Hewes, a quartet of long time Irish-American friends. "Riverhead Township has never had a parade of its own and we always thought it should," said O'Neill.
The lads formed the East End Emerald Society and put up the money for the required $2 million liability insurance policy. With the help of Councilman James Wooten, the society filed the necessary paperwork and the four friends were on their way.
Walter Magee, John Cuddy and Sean O'Neill of the newly formed East End Emerald Society. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)
"Who knows, maybe we will wrestle the title of 'Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade' away from Amanganstt, but I don't think so," joked O'Neill recently with me over a pint at ALure Chowder House in Southold.
It does indeed seem unlikely as the Jamesport parade already has commitments from Echo
-Optical, Strong's Marine and the Port Jeff Ferry for floats, along with vintage muscle cars, Irish Step Dancers, NY Chapter XXV of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, the Riverhead American Legion, the Cutchogue, Riverhead, Mattituck and, of course, Jamesport Fire Departments, with still more to come. Last year's Amagansett parade lasted only 30 minutes, which actually doubled in length from the previous year.
O'Neill's fiancé and owner of Monk Metal Jewels in Greenport, Donya O'Brien, is donating two $50 prizes for the "Miss Emerald" and "Little Leprechaun" best children's St. Patrick's Day costume in the parade. The parade is intended to be very family-friendly.
Like the Montauk Fire Department marching in their hometown parade, the Jamesport Fire Department will march in their village's 1st St. Patrick's Day Parade. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)
All four of the lads are 100% Irish and O'Neill claims ancestry to the first King of Ireland, "That's no Blarney," he told me over our second pint adding, "We have all been going to St. Patrick's Day parades all around the Island for years, we just thought it was time to have one at home."
The parade will take place on Saturday, March 22nd and will kick-off at 1:00 p.m. on the corner of Washington Ave and Main Road and will end at the George Young Community Center. All are welcome and if you would like to march or enter a float contact John Cuddy at 516-732-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Marching here in the 2010 Westhampton Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade, perhaps we will one day see the Rough Rider Calgary marching down Main Road in Jamesport. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)
Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com