St. James resident named Huntington parade grand marshal

St. James resident named Huntington parade grand marshal

The 2022 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Huntington. Photo by Raymond Janis

A former Huntington resident for many years and local financial consultant has been chosen as this year’s grand marshal in the town’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Greg Kennedy at this year’s Grand Marshal’s Ball. Photo from Kennedy

The parade’s organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 4, named Greg Kennedy to lead the 89th annual parade through Huntington Sunday, March 12.

Kennedy has been a financial consultant in the town for more than 25 years, and while he has lived in St. James since 2010, he was a Huntington resident for decades before his move.

A St. John’s University graduate, Kennedy is the founder of the financial services business Atlantic Financial Group, which has been located on New Street in Huntington village since 2008. Before opening his own business, he was an adviser with MetLife and then joined A.G. Edwards.

Tom Dougherty, a Hibernian member, said Kennedy is more than a local businessman. This year’s grand marshal, who was president of the Hibernians division during 2015-17, is the president of The Townwide Fund of Huntington, and a member of the foundation board of directors of the Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice of Suffolk in Northport. He also is involved with the food bank at St. Patrick’s Church and other local charities.

“Our motto is friendship, unity and Christian charity, a model that we live by, and we try to pick somebody that lives by that motto, and those are all the things that he’s lived up to,” Dougherty said.

The Hibernian added that in addition to Kennedy’s contributions to Huntington he does a good deal for the division, including helping members who may need a ride to a doctor’s office or grocery store.

“He’s a put-other-people-first kind of guy,” Dougherty said.

Kennedy said being named parade grand marshal is a tremendous honor for him.

“I was just humbled and honored to be chosen among such great past grand marshals,” he said.

Past Huntington grand marshals include former state Supreme Court justice Jerry Asher and Northwell Health president and CEO Michael Dowling.

Kennedy added because he’s adopted, he’s not sure of the exact percentage of Irish heritage he is.

The businessman attends the parade every year with his wife Cathleen and children Sara, a college junior, and Ryan, a high school senior.  His daughter was a parade Colleen in 2020, according to Kennedy, and this year his son will march with him as one of the parade aides.

“My family has been with me since the beginning, since I started with Hibernians,”
he said.

Greg Kennedy, above left, with his children Ryan and Sara in a 2007 photo. Photo from Kennedy

The parade

While the Huntington parade was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, a virtual event was held that year, and in 2022 the event returned once again to Huntington’s streets. Dougherty said this year there has been an increase in participants in the parade and ad journal, which helps the Hibernians raise money for the event.

Kennedy had advice for those planning to attend the parade, including taking the time to visit a few stores and having lunch.

“Get there early, and long johns aren’t a bad idea because it can be cold,” he said. “Be prepared to enjoy a great day because the parade starts at 2 but it goes for a good few hours.”

Huntington St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 2 p.m. on March 12 on Route 110 and Church Street. It then continues to Main Street and ends at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church.