Carol Silva is no stranger to parades.
The longtime News 12 Long Island anchor used to stand along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with her Irish mother for many St. Patrick’s Day parades while growing up in Hicksville. As a mother she’s participated as a Girl Scout leader and soccer coach. She even took part in a homecoming parade for gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes in Great Neck after her 2002 Winter Olympics win.
But never was she more honored than when she marched down Main Street in Farmingdale as the grand marshal of the village’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday.
“We’ve got Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Irish dancers, and we have families here, it makes everyone feel good, and it also marks the beginning of spring,” Silva said about her experience leading the procession. “Also, you see some of the town’s old buildings that speak to the community’s longevity, and at the same time this is one of the Long Island downtowns that they’re revitalizing. It was fabulous.”
Silva attended Holy Family Elementary School in Hicksville, where she and her classmates had off each St. Patrick’s Day. She thought it was a national holiday.
She joined News 12 Long Island as a field reporter in 1986 and soon after was promoted to anchor. Parade organizer Joe Fortuna, who owns Farmingdale’s Nutty Irishman pub, watches News 12 regularly and got the idea to invite Silva to serve as grand marshal.
“We wanted to pick someone from Long Island who is known to many Long Islanders, and someone who is an inspiration to young people and professionals,” Fortuna said. “How many people wake up to News 12 and Carol each morning? She’s a Long Island fixture.”