It was hot and muggy for Huntington Station’s fifth annual Unity in Community Awareness Day Parade, creating a true dog day for some of the parade’s four-legged participants.
Dogs up for adoption from Huntington-based Little Shelter Animal Rescue Center lapped up water poured into an impromptu bowl made from the underside of a frisbee as they waited at the beginning of the parade on 15th Street.
“Some of these dogs are a little bit older, so the heat can really get to them,” Little Shelter volunteer Al Seaman said, walking the dogs to a shadier spot as they waited for the parade to begin.
The dogs, accompanied by volunteers from the shelter, marched only in the beginning of the parade before dropping out to cool off. But the heat didn’t stop the rest of Huntington Station from coming together to celebrate their annual community event.
Among those who beat the heat were the Huntington High School Blue Devil Marching Band and the Walt Whitman High School Wildcat Marching Band, which were both dressed in full uniform as they performed in the summer sun. A cavalcade of vintage cars, service groups, local merchants and the Huntington Manor Fire Department also made the almost two-mile march down New York Avenue to the parade’s end, which emptied out into a large fair between Church and Olive streets.
At the end of the march, a ceremony was held to honor the parade’s three grand marshals: World champion boxer Chris Algieri and Huntington community leaders Anthony Mastroianni and Thomas Jerideau.
For Algieri, the event marked the last day of his press tour -- a two-week international endeavor promoting his Nov. 22 fight in China against Manny Pacquiao.
“It’s great to be here, to be back in my hometown where I grew up,” Algieri said. “It’s an opportunity for me to show support for the community.”
For Keith Barrett, co-chair of the Huntington Awareness Day committee, the parade is not only about celebrating the community, but a way to put Huntington Station on the map.
“This place is small, and its often forgotten to outsiders,” Barrett said. “We want to show people that Huntington Station is the place to be.”