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Bay Shore St. Patrick's Day parade the perfect cure for 'cabin fever'

First grader Nicholas Spano, 7, plays a leprechaun

First grader Nicholas Spano, 7, plays a leprechaun on the St. Patrick School float during the Bay Shore-Brightwaters 14th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Credit: Brittany Wait

Clad in leprechaun attire with a green goatee and ruby red cheeks, 7-year-old Nicholas Spano waved from his school’s float at thousands of people lining Main Street in Bay Shore.

Crowds packed the sidewalks of Main Street from Islip to Bay Shore for the Bay Shore-Brightwaters 14th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday.

Nicholas’ mother, Donna, who helped organize the making of the St. Patrick School float, said her son told her earlier, “Mom, I’m lookin’ good. I should be my school’s mascot.”

“I love that he’s a part of this,” said Spano, 46, of Bay Shore. “It’s such a tradition. He was a leprechaun last year and our school won for best float. We’ll see about this year.”

Girl Scout and Boy Scout groups, bag pipers and drum bands, local fire departments, Irish dancers and performers marched in their assorted fashions along with the floats. Organizers said the float competition results will be announced in a week or two.

John Fleming, who has been the president of the St. Patrick’s Day parade committee since 2006, said the parade brings quite the crowd. He estimated that nearly 30,000 people came out Saturday to watch.

“It’s a special day. It allows the Irish community to show their heritage,” said Fleming, of Smithtown. “There’s a tremendous amount of Irish families around here. And we all have cabin fever due to the record-breaking snow we’ve been having, so this is bringing us all out to have some fun.”

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