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After pandemic upended 2020 parade, Dawn Thomas to return as grand marshal of Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade

Two years ago, Dawn Thomas was named grand marshal for the East End Emerald Society’s Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

She was to be the first female grand marshal in the parade’s seven-year history.

“So we had picked her on Feb. 25,” said John Cuddy, one of the parade organizers. “We had our grand marshal’s dinner, we gave her a shillelagh and a hat, and a green jacket and a sash and two weeks later COVID-19 was full blown and everything got shut down.” 

So, because she didn’t get to march, she’s going to be the grand marshal in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jamesport, Mr. Cuddy said. 

“Again, I’m honored to be selected by East End Emerald Society as the grand marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Ms. Thomas said. “It’s a wonderful celebration of Riverhead’s long history of Celtic pride and contributions to our community.” 

“This year, for the first time, we will also have aides to the grand marshal, something they do in the New York City parade,” Mr. Cuddy said. 

The first two aides to the grand marshal are Kevin Carrick and Keri Najdzion. 

Kevin Carrick, a Riverhead resident who was the grand marshal in the New York City Veterans Day parade last year, is a member of the 106th Rescue Wing at the Air National Guard Base in Westhampton. He is a retired Master Sergeant. 

The other aide for the Jamesport parade is Keri Najdzion of Riverhead, who is President of the Veterans of Foreign War Ladies Auxiliary and the Polish Hall Ladies Auxiliary. She’s also a member of Riverhead Town’s Veterans Advisory Board and is instrumental in putting the Hometown Heroes posters up throughout town, honoring local veterans, Mr. Cuddy said.

The St. Patrick’s Parade Fundraiser will be held on Feb. 25 from 6 pm to 10 pm., at The Vineyard in Aquebogue. Admission is $50 at the door, or mail a check to: East End Emerald Society, PO BOX 327, Jamesport NY 11947

The parade is on March 26 at 1 p.m. in Jamesport.