21st Annual Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Cavalcade of Irish pride honors ethnic roots

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Photo gallery

Pat in the hat: Ridgite Dan Woods served as one of the parade’s deputy marshals.
Dog day afternoon: Mike Butler brought beloved mascot dog Seamus the Labra-Doodle to ride in the parade on March 23.
High horse: Mounted police carried the colors at the front of the parade.
Bag men: The Emerald Society Pipes & Drums march through Bay Ridge.
Green teen: Miss Teen New York 2014 Dominique Bianco rode in the procession.

The streets ran green in Bay Ridge on March 23 for the 21st-annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

Forty-five schools, civic groups, and religious organizations — plus 14 different pipe and drum bands — marched down Third Avenue from Marine Avenue to 67th Street, while thousands looked on.

“Every single block was packed, from the beginning of the parade to the end,” said parade committee vice president Linda Gallagher.

Gallagher said that the parade is a way for the neighborhood to celebrate its Irish roots, which stretch all the way back to the mid-1800s, when second-generation Irish-American state Senator Henry Murphy established his majestic estate where Owl’s Head Park is today.

“It’s a way for the people of Bay Ridge to celebrate their Irish heritage, as well as their neighborho­od,” said Gallagher.

Since many Irish-American families have left Bay Ridge in recent decades, Gallagher said the yearly parade has become a beacon for wayward sons and daughters of Erin to return home.

“It’s kind of a reunion. People who have moved out look forward to it all year, coming back. They know they’ll see faces they haven’t seen in years, and go back to the blocks where they grew up,” said Gallagher.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
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