The winds swirled, the rain poured, the tree branches shook - and in Bay Shore, the St. Patrick's Day parade went on.
Saturday, a small but spirited crowd braved the storm to watch a downsized march of pipe bands, entertainers and civic groups.
"I must say that it's not quite the day for a parade," said Melissa Sutch of Bay Shore, who stood on the sidewalk in her raincoat. "But I love it. Everybody that's participating deserves a big hand."
Despite the forecast, parade organizers decided to go ahead as planned in part because postponing the parade and rebooking all the participants would have been too difficult.
Bobbi Baker, the Bay Shore-Brightwaters parade committee's secretary-treasurer, also said she heard from many residents who wanted to have the parade.
The sidewalks at the beginning of the route were empty but for police officers and a few hardy souls applauding as the parade went by.
But the parking lots along the route were full of cars with headlights and windshield wipers on. Near the end of the route, people stood under tents and inside stores along Main Street. Every so often, children sprinted out to grab lollipops and beads being passed out by groups in the parade.
"I give them a lot of credit for showing up and doing this," said Patrick McDonald of Lindenhurst, who parked near Main Street and Saxon Avenue with his nephew, William, who was visiting from Pennsylvania.
"People [outside] must be miserable," said William, 14.
The strong winds made it hard at times to hear the pipe bands. But they didn't deter groups like the Cycling Murrays, a Massachusetts family that travels the Northeast during March with unicycles and Irish flags.
Jannah Murray pushed her unicycle a few steps before mounting it. "We perform in all sorts of weather," Murray said as she started to ride. "The Irish can take it. We're used to the rain."
After the parade, Baker conceded the weather turned out worse than she thought it was going to be. But she thanked residents and groups for sticking it out.
"We had a great, great time," Baker said. "This town wanted their parade, and they got it."