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Ragamuffins march in 51st-annual parade

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Neighborhood tradition: Ragamuffins ran the Ridge at the 51st-annual parade.
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Colorful characters: Lisa Phillips attended the parade and wore coordinating costumes with her friend, Esther Lin.
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To infinity & beyond: Max Marcano dressed up as Buzz Lightyear for this year’s parade and commanded attention from atop his father Randy’s shoulders.
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The birds and the bees: Livia Abbate and Stella Rallakis dressed up as a bee and Batgirl, respectively.
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Pint-sized saviors: Brian Teixeira and Sienna McLaughlin dressed as a knight and Wonder Woman, respectively, for the 51st-annual Ragamuffin Parade on Oct. 14.
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A family affair: John Keegan, co-owner of the Greenhouse Cafe, posed with his sister Eileen and her son, Jack Ryan, who transformed into a surgeon, at the parade.
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Ridgites who make the Ragamuffin go round: Ray Aalbue, left, was honored as Person of the Year, and posed with Monsignor Kevin Noone, who was this year’s Grand Marshal, and Ragamuffin President Arlene Keating.

Who runs the Ridge? For one October day every year, it’s the Ragamuffins!

The smallest of Ridgites descended on Third Avenue on Saturday for the 51st-annual Ragamuffin Parade, a favorite neighborhood event where families come out in droves and kids transform into costumed characters to rule the streets. The march, which stretched from 76th to 92nd streets, drew a strong crowd and painted smiles on the kids of the Ridge, according to one attendee.

“It was a really good showing, there was a nice amount of people there,“ said lifelong Ridgite Eileen Keegan, who marched in the parade herself as a child, as a nurse and as Minnie Mouse, among other costumes. This year, Keegan attended with her seven-year-old son, Jack Ryan, who dressed as a surgeon because “he likes helping people,” she said. “He had a great time.”

Another young Ridgite, who opted to dress as Buzz Lightyear, the space-ranger superhero from “Toy Story,” watched the festivities from his perch atop his father’s shoulders. The youngster had fun seeing some of his favorite characters come to life, according to his dad, who added that the march was a fun one for all ages.

“Everybody seemed to be enjoying it, and so did we,” said Randy Marcano, who attended with his 2-year-old son, Max. “He was happy to see all the other characters, and he remembered a few of the characters that he saw. It was good for kids his age, and it was good to see everybody in the spirit. “

A 4-year-old Ridgite dressed as Wonder Woman was one of the many who enjoyed the event this year, but last year at the parade was the milestone, according to her mother, who has been bringing her since she was born.

“It’s great to see her walking in it,” said Nicole McLaughlin of her daughter Sienna, who marched in the parade for the first time last year.

Every child who registered and marched the full parade route in costume received a prize at the finish, with kids from 1–3-years-old scoring a pumpkin-shaped sippy cup, and older kids getting light-up sunglasses.

Keegan said that even though she marched in the parade years ago, the same spirit of Halloween fun still permeates the annual event.

“Everybody’s just having fun and they’re dressed up and enjoying Halloween,” she said.

Ridgite Ray Aalbue was honored as the parade’s Person of the Year, and the Grand Marshal was Monsignor Kevin Noone of Our Lady of Angels Parish, the same parish that founded the parade in 1966.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:44 am, October 20, 2017
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