St. Patrick’s Day parade coming to Jamesport

02/25/2014 6:00 PM |

A St. Patrick’s Day parade appears destined for Jamesport, a first for Riverhead Town. (Katharine Schroeder file photo)

In the month of March, there are St. Patrick’s Day parades in Southampton Town, East Hampton Town and Southold Town.

But not Riverhead Town — until now. 

A new group called the East End Emerald Society is planning a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jamesport March 22 and interest in joining the parade is growing fast, according to Sean O’Neill, one of the parade organizers.

The parade was initially intended to be strictly a Jamesport parade, but the group has since received inquiries from groups as far away as Greenport and Commack that are interested in marching, Mr. O’Neill said.

“Everyone is welcome,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to have a St. Patricks Day parade in my hometown,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Growing up, I always had to work every March.”

This year, Mr. O’Neill, along with friends John Cuddy, Walter Magee and Brandon Hewes, have put the wheels in motion.

He said they met with Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller and town deputy supervisor Jill Lewis on Tuesday.

“They pretty much gave us the nod if we can provide the insurance certificate, and we got a quote for the insurance price today, and the four members of our committee agreed to it,” Mr. O’Neill said.

The parade would have the same route as the annual Jamesport Fire Department parade, running from Washington Avenue to South Jamesport Avenue on Route 25 in Jamesport.

“This will be the first St. Patrick’s Day parade ever in Riverhead Town,” Mr. O’Neill said.

While Riverhead is known for Polish Town, the U.S. Census says there are actually more people of Irish descent in Riverhead Town than of Polish descent.

The March 22 parade will be on the same day as the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hampton Bays, but that parade starts at 11 a.m. and the Jamesport parade is slated to start at 1 p.m.

And bad weather won’t stop it.

“Rain or shine, we’re marching,” Mr. O’Neill said. “There’s no rain date.”

tgannon@timesreview.com