For 170 years, Greenport Fire Department has lead the way for the annual Washington’s Birthday parade through Greenport Village.
On Saturday afternoon, it was time for parade number 171, and sub-freezing temperatures and high winds didn’t seem to slow the firefighters down at all.
“Last year, it was snowing during the parade,” said Greenport Fire Chief Harry Breese. “We never stop for nothing.”
About 30 volunteer fire departments from across Long Island flooded down Front Street for the annual parade. Marching bands played tunes on glockenspiels as firefighters marched through the Village, trailed by fire engines and antique trucks.
Dozens of onlookers, bundled up in scarves and blankets, watched on from the sidewalk.
Greenport resident Lucy Clark said she’s attended the parade every year and never considered skipping out this year, despite warnings from the National Weather Service that the wind chill could dip below zero.
“It’s didn’t stop them,” she said, motioning to the firefighters. “Why would it stop me?”
At Jim and Mindy Ryan’s house on Front Street near the start of the parade, a party was just beginning. The couple moved to Greenport three years ago and learned the parade passes by their front door each year.
The obvious solution, they said, was to throw a party.
“If you found out a parade went by your house what would you do?” Mr. Ryan asked as a friend served up hot mac and cheese and Italian sausages from the outdoor grill.
Mr. Ryan said the freezing cold didn’t stop them at all.
“We were encouraged,” he said. Now, he joked, only the “cool people” would show up.
Click below to see more photos from the parade: