Emily Conboy, 11, of Babylon Village. donned dyed green hair along with her siblings, Erin, 9, Eric, 6, and Ella, 3, to march Sunday in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Farmingdale.
Their hairstyle may have shocked some parents, but their dad Danny got into the festivities, sporting a bright green Mohawk.
“I’m really excited about the parade today,” said Emily, who marched with the Step by Step Dance Studio.
The Conboys were present to show their Irish pride just as much as they were to show support for the Farmingdale-based dance studio, to which all three sisters belong. More than 300 residents shared the Conboys’ sentiment, marching to celebrate the holiday and support local businesses on Main Street at the inaugural Farmingdale Village St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Hundreds of spectators lined the streets to watch the parade from the step-off at Northside Elementary School to its end at Village Hall, where family activities and games were available.
Organized by the Farmingdale Master Plan Implementation Committee in just six weeks, the parade and subsequent Main Street St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl was an initiative to support downtown Farmingdale businesses and stimulate the local economy.
“We’re trying to get people to come down and spend some time to revive the downtown area,” said Farmingdale Fire Commissioner Skip Schumeyer, who was also one of the parade grand marshals.
“It was time for Farmingdale to put something like this together,” said Farmingdale resident Ryan Graney, 30. “It’s a fun day and it will bring some revenue into the town.”
Money was being spent at businesses along Main Street, where onlookers enjoyed pints while watching the East and South Farmingdale Fire Departments march from a prime viewing area on Croxley’s Ale House patio.
Local Girl Scout troops sold their last few boxes of cookies along the parade route, and stands selling a variety of green accessories were open for the day.
“The parade is a great thing for the town because it brings business down here, and it brings the Farmingdale Fire Departments together,” said Anthony Bacchi, 23, who volunteers with the East Farmingdale Fire Department.
Bacchi watched the parade with friends from the steps of the Wild Wild West Saloon. Later, he joined several dozen others on the first St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl that kept Sunday’s festivities going on Main Street throughout the evening.