Irish pride on full display as clouds clear for 29th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade

people march in 29th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick's Day Parade
Irish eyes were all smiles at the 29th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bay Ridge.
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

It was the luck of the Irish as the torrential downpours the city experienced on moved out just in time for the 29th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

The distinctive sound of bagpipes and drums echoed through Bay Ridge as a few thousand revelers, many dressed in shamrock green attire and proudly waving Irish flags, lined Third Avenue from Marine Avenue down to 67th Street, cheering on the pageantry of marching bands, Irish dancers, floats, vintage cars, and community groups. 

bay ridge st. patrick's day parade grand marshal
FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn was this year’s Grand Marshall. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

With sunshine and clear blue skies abound, the parade kicked off at 1 p.m. sharp, led by this year’s grand marshall, FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn. 

The lifelong Bay Ridge resident was honored and excited to lead the parade, which started back in 1994. 

“I’m just tremendously proud,” Flynn told Brooklyn Paper. “I grew up here. I continue to live here and raise my family here. Bay Ridge has been a part of my life the entire time. I’m very proud and honored to be selected.”

crowd at st. patrick's day parade
St. Patrick’s Day Parade revelers lined the streets. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
marching band at st. patrick's day parade
Marching bands galore performed for parade revelers. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Richard O’Mara, president of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade, was relieved that the rain had subsided just in time for the spectacle.

“It’s a beautiful day. Thank God the rain got behind us,” O’Mara said. “God smiled on us with the weather. [It’s] a little windy, but we’ll do it.”

The parade was a family affair for Kelly Hynes and her 21-year-old daughter, Madison Mahoney. 

women with baby at st. patrick's day parade
Generations of Bay Ridge residents enjoyed the spectacle together. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
Irish dancers at St. Patrick's day parade
Irish dancers showed off their dancing skills at the grandstand. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

“I grew up on 83rd Street between Fifth and Sixth, born and raised here [in Bay Ridge],” Hynes said. “When [Madison] was six months old, I had her out here. She was all decked out in green, and she had her first picture in the paper when she was six months old.” 

Mahoney now lives in Delaware but returns for the parade every year to spend time with family and friends and for the bagpipes, which are a rare sight in Delaware, according to Mahoney. 

“My mom grew up here. My grandparents grew up here, so I come back to see everybody I used to know and it’s so much fun,” Mahoney said. “It’s so boring in Delaware. They have two bagpipers. Here, we have bagpipers everywhere. I love it.”

Bay Ridge resident Jim Cruickshanks said he comes to the parade almost every year

bagpiper at st. patrick's day parade
The FDNY Emerald Society Bagpipe Band marched down the parade route.Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
boy dressed as st. patrick
A young attendee dressed as St. Patrick himself. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

“It’s always good to see the parade and have everybody come out. I like to see all the families and community get together,” Cruickshanksa said. “Now we go home and have corned beef and cabbage.” 

Lynette Roggenkamp was decked out in an inflatable St. Patrick’s suit. The mother of triplets and twins enjoyed the parade with two of her triplets and her niece. 

people dressed up at st. patrick's day parade
Lynette Roggenkamp enjoyed the parade with her daughters and niece. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
The Clann Eireann Pipe Band was the first pipe band to march and play in the Park Slope and the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day parades.Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

“I love St. Paddy’s Day. We come to the parade every year,” Roggenkamp said. “Because I have kids now, [the parade] is even more fun. Much more fun than when I was single.”

Lexy May and Lilly Belle Roggenkamp and their cousin Jewel Smith loved the parade because it gave them the opportunity to “hang out” with friends and family and dress up.

man in old car at st. patrick's day parade
Irish eyes were all smiles at the 29th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bay Ridge. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
A local pup enjoyed riding down the route. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

“I also like seeing people dress up in green because I like green. I also like people wearing costumes because it’s funny, and I liked all the dancers and music,” Lilly Bell declared.