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Smithtown celebrates 350th birthday with parade

Spectators line Main Street to observe a parade

Spectators line Main Street to observe a parade to celebrate Smithtown's 350th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. Credit: Barry Sloan

Smithtown celebrated its 350th birthday Saturday with a parade down Main Street, drawing people who attended the 300-year celebration of the Suffolk town's founding -- and those who hope to be at the 400th.

Margaret Dunn, 63, of St. James recalled seeing the floats with her brother in 1965, while their father snapped black-and-white pictures.

"Who wouldn't want to see two of these parades in a lifetime?" she said.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to cheer floats, cheerleaders, marching bands, baton twirlers, horseback riders, members of the military, police officers and firefighters, who showcased a well-behaved Dalmatian and antique fire trucks.

The parade started at Main and Singer Lane, continued past Town Hall and ended near New York Avenue.

One of the parade's honorees was Smithtown's eldest, Marie Sturm, 104, whose appearance led several spectators to hope they could be around for the 400th anniversary bash.

Haley Wink, 21, and her friend, Rebecca Anderson, 20, both of Smithtown, agreed it would be "pretty cool" to be at the celebration in 2065.

"If I stay local, I would come back for the 400th. . . . Maybe with grandkids, too," Wink said.

Claudia Harford of Smithtown for once was not just cheering her son and husband, both firefighters, as they marched by.

Instead, she honored a friend's request to accompany her in the parade, clad in a green, full-length historical gown trimmed with white lace that was made by her niece.

"You have to get into the spirit of it," she said.

Kiran Kumar, 40, of St. James, waiting to see his 5- and 7-year-old daughters twirl their batons, celebrated other aspects of Smithtown's growth as a community.

"It's a great feeling. There are a lot of cultures, and all the people are multitalented and helping each other," he said.

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