Bay Ridge rallied for the troops last Sunday.
Nearly 400 people packed the Salty Dog on Third Avenue on May 4 to raise money to keep the Kings County Memorial Day Parade — the nation’s oldest moving salute to fallen servicemen — striding strong.
“The fund-raiser was a huge success,” said organizer Frankie Marra. “It was a tremendous turnout.”
The party featured six of Bay Ridge’s hottest cover groups, including Marra’s own, and a raffle for a $100 certificate to 16 neighborhood restaurants.
Marra started the community bailout of the patriotic procession — which first stepped off in 1867 — in 2011, when it first faced a gaping $20,000 deficit in public funds due to lean economic times. Since then, the bash has become a tradition in its own right, and this year pulled together $16,000 from red-white-and-blue-blooded Brooklynites.
The Ridge rocker said that the parade can now walk on its own, but that the benefit keeps it solidly in the black and prepared for an emergency expense.
“The first year it was ‘Save the Memorial Day Parade.’ Now it’s ‘Preserve for Those Who Serve,’ ” said Marra.
Marra said that the fund-raiser not only keeps the cavalcade on the march, but raises awareness and attendance for the May 26 event.
“It breeds alertness about the parade. The past couple years since the first fund-raiser have been some of the best-attended ever,” Marra said. “People are coming out in droves to see this parade, which was lacking before.”