John Murray says he’s not of Irish heritage.
But he does identify himself as “Cone-ish.”
To that end, the founder of the “Coneheads” proudly wore a cone above his top hat Saturday as grand marshal of the 49th annual Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Murray, 68, is still thrilled that so many people join him at the St. Patrick’s Day parade every year on the Conehead float he founded. The inspiration came in 1979, after Murray received a conehead as a gift from a friend.
“My wife, Chris, asked me, ‘What are you going to do with it?’” he recalls. “I showed her. I wear it all the time. It’s so uncool that it’s cool.”
East Quogue's Murray stepped off for the parade in a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired golf outfit, proud of the history he and his fellow Coneheads have brought to the parade.
“I have been here every year,” Murray said. “We have even marched in the parade when it was canceled.”
The parade included an Out of This World float competition. This year, the Conehead float took first place in the community division. In the youth division, the Peconic Ballet Theatre won, and Peconic Bay Medical Center took top honors in the commercial division.
Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee president Tim Laube said the parade started when local business owners wanted to get together to celebrate Irish heritage.
“This parade is like having Thanksgiving in the Spring. It is a signature parade," said Laube, 47, of Eastport. “People come together and have a great time.”