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Thousands enjoy 22nd annual St. Patrick's parade in Bayport

Members of the Thomas O'Shaughnessy Memorial Pipe Band

Members of the Thomas O'Shaughnessy Memorial Pipe Band march during the 22nd Annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Bayport-Blue Point. (March 11, 2012) Photo Credit: Elaine Vuong

Donning a green-and-white hat and festive tattoos on her cheeks, Cookie Maxwell watched floats and vintage cars stroll down Montauk Highway on Sunday during the annual Bayport-Blue Point St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The 62-year-old Bayport woman has lived in the community for 30 years and has been enjoying the parade with family and friends since the very first one 22 years ago.

And this year was no different, as she and a truck full of her in-laws, kids and grandchildren were among the thousands of spectators cheering and clapping as the parade went by.

“I thought it was excellent as always,” Maxwell said. “All of the kids enjoyed it.”

And it seemed that everyone was dressed for the occasion.

Dressed to the nines in their uniforms, members of the ambulance and fire departments marched in the parade. The Shaolin Self Defense students made their way along the parade route hand-in-hand wearing their white or black karate uniforms.

And Katherine LaFountain’s bright red hair was complemented by her voluminous tutu-like green skirt as she made her appearance in the parade with her dance troupe.

“My favorite part of the parade was the American Ballet Dance Theatre,” said LaFountain, 8, of Bayport.

The local classic rock band, Hadicus Road, performed on the back of a truck as older parade attendees rocked out to the tunes. Live music was also performed by the Bayport-Blue Point High School marching band – Phantom Band – as well as traditional pipe bands, like Tara Pipes & Drums or The Thomas O’Shaughnessy Memorial Pipe Band.

Hot pretzels were carted around on shopping carts, trailing a scent of smoke and warm bread behind – causing kids to leap from their seats and persuade their parents to buy them some.

Lilly DelValle, 35, of Shirley, is one of Maxwell’s relatives and has attended the parade three times, but she predicts she’ll be attending many future ones.

“There were a lot of things I loved here,” DelValle said. “It has an old-timey kind of feeling and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out all these years.”

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