Numbers Down, But Spirits High at Montauk St. Paddy's Parade

Eddie Ecker Jr. led the parade as the grand marshal. Jane Bimson photos

Rain could not dampen Sunday's 55th annual Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick's Day Parade, led this year by Eddie Ecker Jr. as grand marshal.

Attendance was light due to the wet and chilly weather. "Thirty-nine degrees and rain are tough conditions for Montauk," East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said. "It was still a decent turnout, considering the weather, and the crowds were very well-behaved," he said. 

Fire departments from all over Suffolk County, bands like the American Celtic Pipe Band and the Sio na h'eirann Pipe Band took part part, and there were plenty of floats from businesses and organizations on the South Fork. Many of them paid tribute to Mr. Ecker, a former East Hampton Town police chief, and some recalled a popular bumper sticker that was printed up as a joke of sorts some years ago, proclaiming, "I know Eddie Ecker."

Firefighters — and Santa — posed for a photo with the grand marshal, who is also a longtime member of the Montauk Fire Department.
St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church won third place for its float.
No parade would be complete without a John Deere.
Is that Jaws?
The kids from Camp SoulGrow
Above left, Kari Shea, Eddie Ecker Jr.'s daughter, with her husband, East Hampton Town Police Officer Denis Shea, and their son, Rowan. Left, Quinn Flaherty showed off her Irish spirit.
Members of Eddie Ecker Jr.'s extended family had a good laugh.
The grand marshal with East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, left, and Town Justice Steven Tekulsky.