BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Having March 17 as your birthday has its perks.
Justin Duhancik of Stratford could imagine the hundreds of marchers, dancers and floats winding their way down Broad Street on Friday were all for him and not for the 35th annual Greater Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“I like the bagpipes,” said the newly minted 10-year-old, who was sporting a bright green fright wig and a smile.
“My mother was born in Scotland, and I’ve lived in Stratford my whole life and I’ve never come to this,” said his dad, Gerald. “My wife wanted to come down with the kids, so I took the day off from work and here we are.”
City Council President Thomas McCarthy led the revelers as the 2017 grand marshal, followed by Mr. and Miss Shamrock, Kevin Gallagher and Erin Welch.
Several pipe bands filled the air with the sounds of “Scotland the Brave,” while step dancers from the Lenihan School of Dance jumped and twirled to cheers from the hundreds braving the chill temperatures and mounds of snow from Tuesday’s storm.
Marchers included students from several public and parochial schools, a gaggle of local politicians and spirited bands from Trumbull High School, Shelton Intermediate School, Bunnell High School and more.
Some of those present started the day with a Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral and a 9:15 a.m. flag-raising at City Hall.
Duhancik wasn’t the only one celebrating a birthday at the parade. Marchers from Fairfield University and Fairfield College Preparatory School waved banners touting the schools’ founding 76 years ago on March 17, 1942.