Ryan W. Doherty was this year’s parade marshal. (Photo by Jennifer Corr)

Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade Is A Success

Though it was a frigid day on March 19, it was a beautiful, blue sky day and the sun provided just enough warmth for the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade spectators and marchers.
The Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated with a parade in Glen Cove since 1989. It’s a longstanding tradition, but in 2020, it was canceled for a couple ofyears due to the pandemic. But the parade has been back and in full force, bringing out a huge turnout from Glen Cove and surrounding communities. The parade is organized by the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Committee.

Nassau County Mounted Police. (Photos by Jennifer Corr)

“It was the 35th year so obviously it was a big celebration,” said parade MC Roni Jenkins, adding that Bill Doherty was a parade founder. “One thing that was really special about it was our grand marshal of this year, 2023, is son of William “Bill” Doherty, who was our grand marshal in 2018. That was pretty special to have a father, son grand marshal.”
Ryan W. Doherty, the parade marshal, is a sergeant with the New York MTA Police. He served in the recovery effort at the World Trade Center after 9/11.
“I have been diagnosed with some certified illnesses due to my time down there, and I use my time now to advocate for others that are suffering similar certified illnesses,” Doherty said. “I just like to spread awareness to remind people never to forget. I am a police officer for the past 24 years. The MTA Police Department that I work for celebrated their 25th anniversary and they have been involved in marching in our Glen Cove parade since 2001… Due to my involvement, the Ceremony Unit and the pipes and drums from the MTA Police Department were nice enough to lead this year’s parade.”

It was an interactive parade, where participants threw candy and green beaded necklaces to the crowd.

He was honored to be named as the parade marshal, following in his father’s footsteps. He added that the parade was a proud day for his family and a great day for Glen Cove.
“The weather was perfect, I thought it was a great day,” Doherty said. “Four or five months of planning all comes down to one day… And on the day of I was very proud and recalled so many happy memories from past parades because I’ve been involved in this parade since I was a teenager.”

The Grinch made an appearance

And continuing the tradition of the parade marshal picking the charity the parade supports, Doherty picked Winters Center for Autism.
“The Winters family was instrumental in helping Ryan’s parents emigrate to New York and get their start in Glen Cove,” Robert Lynch of the committee wrote on the parade website. “To honor the memory of his cousin, Joseph Winter, Ryan supports the Winters Center for Autism, a Long Island-based nonprofit organization that supports adults with autism through job creation, training, and placement while helping businesses employ people with autism.”

McCabe Irish Dance

Fifty-five groups marched in the parade, including the Irish Wolfhounds and Nassau County Mounted Police, the MTA Color Guard, MTA pipes and drums, the Glen Cove Senior Center, McCabe Irish Dance, local chambers, civic associations and rotaries, and fire departments and emergency medical services from Glen Cove and surrounding communities, among many others. Cove Animal Rescue also marched with dogs who are up for adoption.
“It’s a nice, special way to honor them and call out to the whole community what Glen Cove is really made out of,” Jenkins said. “We’re a melting pot community and you’ll see the diversity of the people marching.”

Spine Time

Even Jenkins’ father marched with the Glen Cove YMCA.
“Our chairwoman, Lisa Forgione, has been chairing that parade for six years, but she’s been a longtime committee member and prior to her, Andy Stafford was the parade chairperson for nine years,” Jenkins said. “Between the two of them, they got 15 years under their belt. It’s a pretty well-oiled machine at this point.”
But there’s been some changes for this year’s parade. The parade route was shortened to half-a-mile long, making it more comfortable for the marchers, especially those holding bag pipes and other heavy instruments. Spectator parking was literally steps from the viewing area. Marchers could park a block away from the end of the parade, and shuttles were there to pick them up and drop them off at the staging area. And the Parade Reviewing Stand was at Village Square, at the climax point of the parade.

Friends & Family of Dustin Hill, Motorcycles

At the end of the parade, many of the marchers and spectators made their way to The Metropolitan Caterers for the after party, which sold out a week ahead the parade.
“It was fun,” Jenkins said. “We had non-stop Irish music. We had the MTA Pipe Band come and perform at the after party. We had the McCabe Irish Dance company perform and it was so adorable to watch these young girls, which are probably 13 and under, doing Irish Step Dancing for us. And the community who all bought tickets to this event really showed their support.”

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