Q&A: Sean McCabe named grand marshal of 2016 East End Emerald Society parade


The winter doldrums are in full force, which means Sean McCabe and fellow East End Emerald Society members are hard at work organizing Jamesport’s third annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

But Mr. McCabe isn’t just helping to plan this year’s event: He’s been selected to lead the parade as its 2016 grand marshal.

“I consider it a great honor,” he said.

The former chief of the Jamesport Fire Department, Mr. McCabe, 62, is now the organization’s district manager. He and his six siblings grew up in a home on Main Road many are familiar with thanks to the winery that now operates from it: Sherwood House Vineyards.

Mr. McCabe, who has two adult children, Carrie and Sean Jr., with his wife, Diane, has been a member of the Jamesport Fire Department since 1972 and still serves as a volunteer firefighter.

“I thoroughly enjoy it,” he said. “It’s a lot of excitement, a lot of good people. And we’re serving the community. That’s the most important thing: to protect the community.”

In addition to his work with the department, Mr. McCabe is a lab technician with the Riverhead Town Sewer Department. For the past decade, he’s also been chairman of the town’s conservation advisory council.

Despite his involvement in numerous local organizations, Mr. McCabe, who is of Irish and Scottish heritage, said the St. Patrick’s Day parade — an event that last year included marchers from 32 groups — is currently his primary focus.

“Then we’ll be moving on to the Jamesport Fire Department Parade [in July],” he said with a laugh. “It’s always something.”

The parade will start Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m. on the corner of North Railroad Avenue and Washington Avenue in Jamesport.

Q: What are the challenges of organizing the parade?

A: I don’t consider them challenges. Some people get all nervous about it, but it’s not that big a deal. You have to get a parade permit from the town, and insurance. Then you invite everybody and line [the marchers] up.

Q: How has the North Fork changed over the years?

A: Well, certainly the population is up. With all the wineries and everything we have crowds that are unbelievable. You can’t get around in the summer, that’s for sure. It’s still kind of nice out here.

Q: Do you ever worry the area is becoming more like the Hamptons?

A: Well, my wife is in real estate so she sees a lot of second home [buyers]. I guess it’s better that it’s a second home.

Q: When you’re in the mood to eat out, where do you go?

A: The Elbow Room [in Jamesport or Laurel]. When I want a steak, that’s where I go. Or Grana [in Jamesport] is good. You know, I like to cook, so I’d rather cook something.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

A: We have a place in Maine — a log cabin. We built it in ’88. Whenever we can get away, that’s usually where we go. We snowmobile, water-ski, hang out on the lake and enjoy life. Or we vacation down south in the Caribbean at least once a year.