Karen Holmgaard, of Rockville Centre, gives a 'thumbs-up' as the...

Karen Holmgaard, of Rockville Centre, gives a 'thumbs-up' as the parade marches down Quealy Place during the 19th Annual Rockville Centre St. Patrick's Parade, Saturday, March 21, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Nine-year-old Shannon was a bit blasé about the festivities -- even though they were a celebration of her Irish heritage.

"She's been doing this for so long . . . she's like 'Oh, it's everyday,' " said Janice Preisz, 55, of Baldwin.

Still, Shannon, a 135-pound blonde Irish wolfhound, responded graciously to her many admirers during Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade in Rockville Centre.

Preisz and her husband, Rich, 52, also brought along their 3-year-old wolfhound -- a more energetic Dechlan -- adorning each pet with an Irish flag sash.

Many of the thousands of people who attended the 19th annual event sported the usual green accents.

But Brendan Ryan, 40, of North Merrick was a standout. He modeled an outlandish wide-brimmed hat, emblazoned with shamrocks and trimmed with fake fur.

"It's actually my brother-in-law's," he said. "It's an heirloom."

The Billias family of Rockville Centre also was accompanied by an Irish representative -- an unusually mellow 2 1/2-year-old wheaten terrier named Luna.

Luna lacked the green hair highlights sported by Karin and Paul Billias' three young children.

"It better wash out," said Karin Billias, 43.

As the sun made an appearance, just before the start of the noon parade, crowds swelled along Maple Avenue.

Catherine Krebs, 39, of Rockville Centre took in the sunshine with a smile. "It feels like the first time since winter," she said.

"Hibernation's over," said her husband, Brian, 43.

Linda Murtagh, 63, of Rockville Centre came to celebrate her community and the Irish family she married into.

"It's nice to see everybody, and I have to respect my husband's Irish heritage," she said.

Charities that will benefit from this year's parade include the Katie McBride Foundation, the Hance Family Foundation and Dublin Children's Pilgrimage.

Rockville Centre native Bob Williams, a lawyer and formerly a village justice and president of Nassau University Medical Center, was the grand marshal.

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