For the past decade, Joe Corso, 60, has stood on the grand stand on Main Street, welcoming the floats as they roll by at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cutchogue.
On Saturday, Corso, the parade chair, was there as usual, as everything from cherry-red collector cars to dogs in green tutus made their way past him.
“The parade’s like my baby,” Corso said of starting it 10 years ago, adding that while the North Fork had parades, “Cutchogue didn’t have anything they could say was their own.”
Since then, Corso, a Roslyn native who has lived in Cutchogue eight years, has helped grow the parade from 22 participating groups to more than 50.
This year, there was a large bagpipe performance and an informal car show.
Four of those cars belonged to Tobie Wesnofske, 32, of Cutchogue. An auto-mechanic by trade, he’s been around cars most of his life.
“I’ve always been really interested in how cars work,” said Wesnofske, who had his 1970 Chevelle, two 1972 Chevelles and a 1986 Chevy pickup truck with monster tires at the parade. When asked if his truck ever scares people when he’s driving through Cutchogue, Wesnofske said with a slight smile, “sometimes.”
The weather also cooperated, so Charles A. Riley II, of Cutchogue, and wife, Liu, rode their bicycles to the parade.
“I loved the dogs at the end,” Riley said.
The dogs, a part of the North Fork Animal Welfare League, may have been some of the most excited parade attendees there. Erin Prince, 33, of Baiting Hallow, walked alongside Basset Hound, Daisy.
“I help out at the animal welfare league whenever I can,” Prince said. “Everybody cheers me up here because they’re so friendly. They get a kick out of the dogs and we get a kick out of showing them off.”
As for Corso, his favorite part of the parade is still the beginning.
“My favorite moment is when we’re up on grand stand and we see the first group marching down," Corso said. "You'll see color guard and the fire department with lights … you’re watching it actually happen for another year, and that's when it all comes together. You see the beginning of the parade and all of the people watching. That's what it's all about.”