A caravan of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles drove down Port Jefferson’s Main Street to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The Patriot Day Parade, which was hosted by the Setauket Patriots, a local conservative group based on social media, was put together fairly quickly as organizers were able to obtain the necessary permit and approval from the village within the past week.
Despite the local fire department’s decision to cancel its annual parade, the Setauket Patriots group previously stated it wanted the opportunity to do something to mark Independence Day. A representative from the group said the parade would not be a political event. The majority of people who lined the sidewalks waved American flags and wore red, white and blue. Though there were a handful of individuals in red MAGA hats and some participants who drove past with Trump 2020 and Thin Blue Line flags.
James and Flo McAvey of Port Jefferson, were a part of the crowd and were glad there was an event to commemorate the important American holiday.
“The village’s [annual] parade always has a big turnout, but I’m glad there is something going on to show patriotism toward America,” James McAvey said. “I know this was kind of last minute, I don’t think a lot of people knew about this. I think there could have been more spectators if they had more notice.”
Barry Issberner of Port Jefferson, said he thought the decision to not have the usual annual Fourth of July parade was a big mistake.
“I understand the concern, but to call off the whole Fourth of July parade because they were worried people weren’t smart enough to protect themselves was wrong,” he said. “I’m glad someone else picked it up and ran with it.”
Issberner was seen waving a big American flag throughout the parade, adding that it was important to be at the event.
“I wanted to come out and help celebrate the birth of America,” the Port Jeff resident said. “It’s important for the country to pull together. I thought the turnout was pretty good, we had a good amount of cars go by. For something that was last-minute organized, it got a good crowd to come out.”