After 35 years, the ’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade finally returned to Mineola in grand fashion.
With upwards of 40 groups, organizations and schools marching this year, the parade lasted close to two hours, winding its way through the village whereas in years past it had , which reportedly declined shared hosting duties.
With the weather cooperating and the sun poking its head out a few times, crowds larger than previous years lined Mineola Boulevard and Jericho Turnpike to catch a glimpse of the plethora of participants, including band and color guards from , pipe & drum band, fire departments and EMS personnel from and Williston Park, local Gaelic societies, Knights of Columbus, , St. Aidan’s, and in Garden City, and the Portuguese society, members of the Mineola American Legion and VFW, bagpipers as well as numerous local officials.
“It’s a great feeling,” Mineola said about having the parade return to the village. “Everybody’s here today.”
Added Nassau Comptroller George Maragos: “I think it brings the entire community together.”
The decision for Mineola to host the parade alone required a , with the procession beginning where it used to end, at the on Old Country Road. The parade began north on County Seat Drive, turning left on Old Country Road and then north on Mineola Boulevard to Jericho Turnpike before heading east and ending at Willis Avenue.
“This is a great day for Mineola,” parade grand marshall Betty McLoughlin said. “I just think that it’s fabulous that we’re ending a block away (from the society’s headquarters).” McLoughlin, who served as the most recent past president of the Irish American Society, was notified of the grand marshall title just six months prior to the parade. “I was honored,” she said. “I just think it’s fabulous.”