Donna Boeckel remembers sitting in an open lot on Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma with her parents when she was young as they watched the hamlet's annual St. Patrick's parade.
After she had a son, Jeffrey, she began to take him to the event each year, and on Sunday she took in the parade with her grandson, Jax, 5.
Attending the parade has become a cherished family tradition for Boeckel. "I have been coming to this for more than 20 years, and l love it," she said. "I love that it brings everyone together."
Boeckel, who said she is part Irish, grew up in Lake Ronkonkoma and raised her son there.
"What I enjoy most are the bagpipes," she said. "When the parade comes it's the only time that I get to hear them."
She said she is happy to share the experience with her grandson. His favorite part of the parade are the fire trucks.
"I like the loud noise that the trucks make," he said. "But I don't like it too loud because it will hurt my ears."
As Jax watched the trucks drive by, Boeckel smiled.
"I want him to bring his kids," she said. "Or maybe one day he can be in the parade."