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Irish Eyes Are Smiling At St. Patrick's Day Parade In Bridgeport

Members of the Fairfield County Police Pipe s& Drums march down Broad Street in Bridgeport.
Members of the Fairfield County Police Pipe s& Drums march down Broad Street in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Justin Duhancik celebrates his 10th birthday at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
Justin Duhancik celebrates his 10th birthday at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Step dancers from the Lenihan School of Irish Dance leapt into the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
Step dancers from the Lenihan School of Irish Dance leapt into the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Children from St. James School in Stratford marched in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Bridgeport.
Children from St. James School in Stratford marched in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The Uptown String Band came all the way from Philadelphia for the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
The Uptown String Band came all the way from Philadelphia for the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Drummers from the Fairfield County Gaelic-American Club participated in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Drummers from the Fairfield County Gaelic-American Club participated in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The Bridgeport Sound Tiger waved from atop the Port Jefferson Ferry float.
The Bridgeport Sound Tiger waved from atop the Port Jefferson Ferry float. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Fairfield Prep students marked the school's 75th birthday at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
Fairfield Prep students marked the school's 75th birthday at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Trumbull's St. Joseph High School steel drum band made an appearance at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
Trumbull's St. Joseph High School steel drum band made an appearance at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
A tiny dancer from the Sheeaun Academy of Irish Dance waved to the crowds at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
A tiny dancer from the Sheeaun Academy of Irish Dance waved to the crowds at the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
City Council President Thomas McCarthy was the 2017 grand marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
City Council President Thomas McCarthy was the 2017 grand marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
A student from St. Theresa School in Trumbull  marched her way down Broad Street in Bridgeport.
A student from St. Theresa School in Trumbull marched her way down Broad Street in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The Pyramid Shriners rolled down Broad Street in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
The Pyramid Shriners rolled down Broad Street in the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Crowds gathered for the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport.
Crowds gathered for the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

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.

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