One morning in March 2020, Joe Corso of North Fork Chamber of Commerce made the difficult choice to cancel the 16th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cutchogue due to the pandemic.
“It just sounded like, you know, if you stepped out of your house, you’re going to get COVID,” Mr. Corso said.
Now, two years later, the parade hosted by North Fork Chamber of Commerce and Cutchogue Fire Department is back. It will kick off on Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m.
David Gamberg, who was unanimously chosen as grand marshal for 2020, will be honored with the title this year since he wasn’t able to be honored in 2020.
“Because he never got to be the grand marshal two years ago, we felt like, well, why would we not give him the honor anyway,” Mr. Corso said. “We figured he was still so deserving.”
Mr. Gamberg, a Cutchogue resident, was the superintendent of Southold and Greenport Schools for 12 years. He retired in 2020 after working over 30 years in education. He was also named The Suffolk Times Person of the Year in 2013 along with Michael Comanda, superintendent of Greenport at the time.
Mr. Gamberg said he is grateful that the parade will bring the community together again after two years.
“I think we all feel that sense of gratitude and appreciation,” he said. “It’s wonderful when you can have a local event like this, that brings the community out and brings people together in celebration … particularly after a couple of years of being so isolated.”
Mr. Gamberg said receiving the honor is “certainly something very near and dear to my heart.”
His personal connection to the holiday is through his wife, Maryellen, who has dual Irish citizenship. He traveled to Ireland for the first time in the summer of 2019 and took a road trip throughout the entire country.
“It was the most beautiful road trip I’ve ever been on,” he said to The Suffolk Times in a 2020 interview. “It was very magical.”
Some of the grand marshals chosen in the past include Linda Carlson and Jim Fogarty Sr. (2019), Paul Connor (2018), George Sullivan (2017) and Monsignor Joseph Staudt (2016).