For years, Jeff A. Davis has been watching the Miller Place/Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade pass him by as he stood outside the Rocky Point Funeral Home he owns and operates.
But this year he’ll be leading the 62nd Annual Miller Place/Rocky Point parade as the grand marshal.
“I’m thrilled and excited,” said Davis, 60, of Rocky Point. “I’ll be leading a major parade of Long Island. I’m thrilled to be chosen.”
The annual parade kicks off at 1 p.m. March 11. Parking will be prohibited along the parade route on Route 25A from Miller Place Road in Miller Place to approximately 150 feet east of Broadway Avenue in Rocky Point. This portion of the road will be closed from noon to about 3:30 p.m.
Davis has been a member of the Rocky Point community since 2000, when he bought the funeral home. A Long Island native, he grew up in Northport and moved to Patchogue in the 1970s.
Even though he may not be of Irish descent, the parade is about more than that to him.
“It’s a great community event,” he said. “It’s a community event that has the tradition to bring the community together and to celebrate together.”
He’s also very active in the community. He’s a member of the Rocky Point Civic Association, the North Shore Beach Property Owners Association, the Rocky Point Historical Society and is a past president of the Rocky Point Rotary.
“He’s a good person to pick this year,” said Brian McCarrick, vice president of the Friends of St. Patrick, the group which hosts the parade. “He keeps saying he’s so appreciative and we like seeing that in people and they’re not looking for exposure.”
Davis has been in the funeral business his entire career. He has served with the New York Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association, and is a former president of the New York Funeral Directors Association.
“Being a grand marshal is, whether it be a member of Friends of St. Patrick or an outside organization, a humbling experience,” said Walter Colleran, the chairman of the parade. “It’s a pretty nice honor to receive. People in the community recognize that on that day this particular person, whoever is grand marshal, is someone special. It’s a great experience.”