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Rain doesn't stop Westhampton Beach St. Patrick's parade

Eliah, 8, and Juniper Marbury, 4, from East

Eliah, 8, and Juniper Marbury, 4, from East Moriches, watch the Westhampton Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade along Main Street in Westhampton Beach, March 14, 2015. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The Irish in Westhampton Beach don't mind a bit of rain on their parade.

Die-hard fans of the village's quirky St. Patrick's Day parade lined Main Street Saturday, some in suitably green ponchos.

They cheered the traditional bagpipe bands and fire engines -- saving some of the biggest applause for the annual appearance of a spirited group in Conehead costumes known for political satire.

This year, the dancing, flailing Coneheads lampooned parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, with one member dressed as a baby and others as doctors.

Westhampton native Donna Hepworth, 47, watched the soggy spectacle from the sidewalk, sporting a wig, sunglasses, hat and umbrella -- all in various shades of green.

Her cat Amber, decked out to resemble a leprechaun, complete with a miniature hat, clung to Hepworth's chest, occasionally peeking out to catch a glimpse of the festivities or pose for pictures.

"I'm Irish and it's fun, and the cat loves the attention, and I love going out and taking a day to not be me and have fun doing it," she said.

Eastport Fire Chief Bill Weick bragged that his firefighters got out of their warm, dry trucks and marched the route on foot.

Kelly Foley, 47, of Manorville, watched the procession pass through the front windows of The Patio, a local restaurant that served as a rain shelter for dozens of parade-goers.

She got a better view than usual, she said, because Main Street is usually packed for the parade.

"I'm going to make the best of it," said Foley, who continued her own tradition of getting together with friends to toast her Irish heritage.

Hepworth, who has attended 25 incarnations of the noon parade, said this year's turnout was light and the event ended about a half-hour earlier than usual.

But mere weather wouldn't cause Hepworth to miss a chance to don a costume and party on the streets.

"The Irish don't care about the rain," she said.


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