St. Patrick’s Day parade in July draws hundreds

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DCSO units in the 2021 parade.

VILLAGE OF PAWLING – The pandemic-postponed St. Patrick’s Day parade was held on Saturday, July 17, in the Village of Pawling.  The event drew more than 500 people to the village.  In its fifth year, the parade is advertised as being the shortest parade in the world, covering a length of approximately 200 feet.

Kevin O’Connell and Jim Hughes were sitting in a pub and as a dare, decided to have a parade, according to Henry Schaber, owner of the Quick Stop in the village.  “This started as a parade of seven guys walking down the street,” said Schaber who served as the Grand Marshal for the inaugural march. “All of the businesses in town are busy as a result of the parade – it’s a really good community event.”

This year, Pawling’s hometown hero, Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson was honored to lead the parade down Broad Street from Elm Street to Charles Colman Boulevard.  “This is one of the most fun events of the year, said Anderson who added, “I am honored that my friends and neighbors selected me to serve as the Grand Marshal.”

Bagpipers delighted the crowd in Pawling.

Longtime public servant Dave Gamache, who held several positions in the village, town, county, and New York State, was the emcee for the celebration.  “welcome to the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade,” he announced at the start.  “It just so happens that it might also be the hottest St. Patrick’s Day parade,” he said as he gave a nod to the 90-degree weather.

Attended by elected officials including Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and members of both the village and town boards, the parade stepped off at 1:00 p.m. with bagpipers, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Deputies on motorcycles and ATVs, Pawling and Dover Fire Departments, various youth organizations, and lasted ten minutes.

“This is a great event,” said Tom Brown, one of the unofficial promoters.  “People in Pawling know how to have a good time and this is a great day for it.”