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St. Patrick's Day parade in Amagansett grows, relatively speaking
Wearing a shamrock headband bopper, Hope Beck, 6, and her painted-green puggle Cleo both rushed over to collect tootsie rolls that were thrown from a parade “float.”
Beck was among the nearly 150 spectators standing on the sidewalk of Main Street during the fifth annual “Am O'Gansett” St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday.
“I like how they’re throwing candy,” said Beck, of Montauk. “This is so fun.” Marchers or those in trucks also gave out green beads, toilet paper and dog treats along the route.
Starting at noon, the parade — coined the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade by locals — traveled west on Main Street from Amagansett Free Library a couple blocks and looped back around -- finishing 15 minutes later than last year, at 30 minutes.
Wearing a green hat and tie, grand marshal Htun Han, who was born in Burma and has lived in Amagansett for 36 years, led the parade, throwing green beads to the crowd.
“This is all for fun. It’s the shortest parade, but why not?” said Han, 63, a real estate broker at Hamptons Realty Group and local EMT and fireman. “This is the perfect way to end winter and start spring, and with a bang.”
Patty Sales, vice president of the Amagansett Chamber of Commerce, walked beside him, wearing bright green pants and a golden fedora covered in shamrock confetti.
“It all started on the sidewalk,” said Sales, 52, of East Hampton. “Five years ago, there were only 10 people marching in this parade on the sidewalk, now it has grown so much. Everyone loves it, it’s fun and what else is there to do in March?”
Also taking part in the parade were the Amagansett Fire Department, Quackenbush Cesspools, East Hampton-based rock band Spork, Montauk Friends of Erin, Girl Scout troops, The Hampton Jitney, the Computer Shop and Stephen Talkhouse.
Donning a top hat, Ken Wessberg rode a penny-farthing — a type of bicycle with a large front wheel and smaller rear wheel that was built in 1890 — carefully down Main Street.
“I’m the third generation in my family to ride this bike and I’ve been in the parade since the beginning,” said Wessberg, of East Hampton. “I love being in the parade and it’s great because it’s short which means I don’t have to pedal far.”
Wearing a green wig and colorful beads, Michelle Norrman, 32, of Wantagh, traveled to the South Fork just to witness the parade with her mother, Doreen Lusty, 58. It’s tradition.
“It’s never been this big before, so this is quite impressive,” said Lusty, of Amagansett. “It literally went from blizzard to spring. I’m just so glad to see everyone coming out. It’s such a small parade, but it’s our parade.”