Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks at a news conference...

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks at a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola on Dec. 16, 2021. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

New Hyde Park will be draped in green in a couple of Saturdays when officials host the village’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will honor first responders.

The village and the New Hyde Park Fire Department are hosting the festivities. The parade will kick off from Hillside Boulevard and Jericho Turnpike at 10 a.m., travel east on Jericho and end at the firehouse at 1555 Jericho Tpke., where participants will be met with light refreshments.

Mayor Christopher Devane said that when his administration took over last April, they made a "conscious decision" to celebrate every culture in the village by hosting events such as a multicultural concert last summer and the Diwali festival of lights marked by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, in the fall. Next on the list is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Devane said, which he hopes will become a longstanding tradition in the village.

"The more you talk about backgrounds and traditions and even foods … the more you realize that we have so much more in common than we do apart." Devane said. "We want to bring people together and make them realize they don’t have to leave the Village of New Hyde Park to have fun."

Organizers said members of the fire department have volunteered to help organize the event and local businesses have donated bagels and other food items.

Devane, whose late father, John, was an NYPD officer, said the village wants to celebrate first responders after "a few tough years" dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent deaths of NYPD Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, who were fatally shot in January while responding to a domestic dispute call in Harlem, Devane said the community must support those who risk their lives for the safety of the residents.

"I want to show the entire first-responder community that we do appreciate what they do, because without them, where would we be?" Devane said.

The parade’s first grand marshal will be Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, who has close to 40 years in law enforcement.

"This has special meaning to my entire family, as we have always taken great pride in the Irish and the "Ryder" lineage which goes back centuries to Ireland," Ryder said. "The Ryder family will be out in force on this day to celebrate with our great communities and to honor our first responders. May God bless the Irish."

Reid Sakowich, chairman of New Hyde Park’s Board of Fire Commissioners, said much of the 192-volunteer firefighter force lans to march next Saturday, weather permitting.

"We need a beautiful day, and we’ll have a fantastic time in New Hyde Park," Sakowich added.

He noted the parade will also serve to scout potential recruits for the department’s Junior Firefighters program, which is expected to launch in May for teens ages 14-17.

"This is something we’ve seen work at other fire departments, and we noticed some of our residents go to other [youth programs], so we felt why not start our own," Sakowich said. "If we can retain four or five [firefighters] a year into the volunteer system, we’re ahead of the ballgame."


New Hyde Park’s inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. March 12.

The route starts at Hillside Boulevard and Jericho Turnpike, continues east on Jericho Turnpike and ends at the New Hyde Park Fire Department at 1555 Jericho Tpke.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder is the grand marshal.

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