The streets of Bay Ridge ran green on Sunday as its annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off for the 19th time — and for its first-ever run on Third Avenue.
Thousands lined the streets on March 24 to watch the Celtic-themed cavalcade of marching bands, dancers, and pipe players march from Marine Avenue to 68th Street — a crowd that parade organizers boasted was twice as large as they got last year on Fifth Avenue, the procession’s former venue.
“There’s nothing wrong with a change of pace,” said emcee Peter Clavin, who also attributed the success to the fair weather. “We got a great day, and people were really with us.”
The parade’s committee decided to make the move last September because of a dwindling audience and lack of support from Fifth Avenue stores and because Third Avenue vendors made a better offer. Committee vice president Linda Gallagher said that the new hosting thoroughfare’s investment in the parade paid off.
“Every block was filled, and that’s good for all of the businesses,” said Gallagher.
But committee president Frankie Marra said that the event was not about pitting one corridor against another, but about creating unity in the community.
“It’s the neighborhood coming together,” said Marra “The parade’s on Third Avenue now, but the important thing is that it’s in Bay Ridge.”Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma
©2013 Community News Group
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