Friends of St. Patrick History

© Friends of St. Patrick - Miller Place | Rocky Point | Sound Beach

Friends of St. Patrick History

History on Friends of St. Patrick

The    winters    were    long    and    dreary,    with    the streets nearly desolate of pedestrians or traffic, as   the   community   awaited   the   return   of   its   large population of summer residents.  Spring   couldn’t   come   soon   enough   to   those,   that lived   here   year   round.   What   could   be   done,   to bring    folks    out    and    turn    the    gray    into    green again? Two    local    businessmen,    John    M.    Sullivan    and George    Faulkner,    pondered    this    thought    and formed   a   committee,   consisting   of   local   residents and    businessmen,    in    1949,    which    devised    a method   to   rouse   those   neighbors   from   the   gray doldrums    of    another    blustery    season.        What better    way    to    bring    out    the    “green”    to    the surrounding   hamlets,   than   celebrating   an   early return   of   spring,   by   organizing   a   parade   in   honor of    St.    Patrick    to    erase    the    grayness    that    had prevailed   for,   seemingly,   endless   months.      The "Friends   of   St.   Patrick"   was   born,   and   the   arrival of an early spring now had a new beginning. On    the    Saturday    afternoon,    before    the    official date   of   St.   Patrick’s   Day,   on   March   17,   1951   at 3pm,    Co-Grand    Marshal    John    H.    Sullivan    and George   Faulkner   donned   a   top   hat,   while   sitting atop   2   sturdy   local   horses,   and   departed   John’s local   business   establishment   of   "Sullivan’s   Tavern"
at   Harrison   Avenue   and   Route   25A,   in   Miller   Place, to   lead,   what   would   be   the   first   of   scores   of   annual parades.   Heading   east,   members   of   the   community joined   in   and   followed   the   festive   journey,   along   a heavily   wooded   and   rustic   Route   25A,   with   the   final destination     being,     what     is     now     known     as Downtown   Rocky   Point.      It   was   a   time   for   friends, and    neighbors    alike,    to    reconnect,    mingle,    and share    their    stories    and    experiences    about    past months, huddled away from the chills of winter.  Green   became   the   day’s   dominant   color,   as   the muted   hues   of   winter   transformed   Rocky   Point   into “Shamrocky Point”! Nearly   1000   people   attended   that   fateful   day,   as Master      of      Ceremonies,      William      McCarrick, introduced   the   first   Queen   of   the   St.   Patrick’s   Day Parade,   Peggy   McKenna,   to   an   applauding   crowd, as   she   arrived   in   a   historic   85-year-old   carriage   at the     square     off     Broadway,     in     Rocky     Point.       Marchers,   and   spectators   alike,   listened   to   a   song sung   by   Maureen   Faulkner,   followed   by   talks   from dignitaries   Justice   of   the   Peace   Kenson   D.   Merrill and   Rev.   Vincent   Margiotta,   Pastor   of   St.   Anthony’s Catholic     Church.          Before     a     county     police department    was    established,    Brookhaven    Town Police   Ptl.,   George   McMullen,   saw   to   it,   that   the color    scheme    of    the    day    was    maintained,    by keeping   the   few   traffic   lights   in   the   area   on   green, during the event.
Now,   well   into   its   sixth   decade,   the   “Friends   of   St. Patrick”,   currently,   has   active   second   and   third generation      members,      that      participate      in organizing   and   executing   its   annual   parade   and fundraising events.  Local   populations   have   grown,   and   so   has   the parade,   with   estimated   crowds   to   be   in   excess   of 50   thousand,   plus   the   thousands   of   marchers   and participants.      The   parade   is   now   the   largest,   and second   oldest,   in   Suffolk   County,   and   the   most anticipated   event   of   any   kind,   year   after   year,   to residents,   near   and   far.   As   the   parade   has   grown, so   have   the   expenses,   in   preparing   and   executing such an event.  The   parade   was   organized   and   established   by, and   for,   the   residents   in   the   hamlets   of   the   local areas.      The   " Friends   of   St.   Patrick "   is   a   registered not-for-profit   organization.   It   relies   on   donations and   monies,   raised   through   fund-raising   events   in order    to    offset    the    costs,    associated    with    this annual   historic   event.      A   cocktail/dinner   party, golf   outing,   and   an   assortment   of   raffles   are   held every   year,   to   raise   funds,   necessary   to   continue with these efforts. Your   kind   donation,   support,   and   participation   in these   events   ensures,   that   this   historic   parade will     take     place     this     year,     and     for     many generations to come! Have a look at our past events.
Friends of St. Patrick, P.O. Box 5540, Rocky Point, NY 11778