Supervisor Wehrheim set to lead St. James parade
After leading the town for five years, Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) will head up the St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 11.
Wehrheim, a native of Kings Park, said when he heard the news, he was humbled and honored. The town supervisor added he is mostly of German and English descent.
“As I told the chamber for that particular day, I will be all Irish,” he said.
The honor will be his first time serving as a parade grand marshal.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “It’s great for the community when the chambers put the parades and events on. I’m looking forward to it.
Kathy Weber, president of the St. James Chamber of Commerce, said the board chose Wehrheim as grand marshal for all his work for the hamlet, including being instrumental in making possible Celebrate Park, which opened in 2022.
“From the roads to the park and all the revitalization, he’s really there for St. James,” Weber said. “We’re so grateful.”
She added it’s apparent how Wehrheim cares about the St. James community.
“It wasn’t even a question as to who should be this year’s grand marshal,” Weber said.
Wehrheim said the town is proud of what has been done in St. James.
“It has resulted in a huge success for the community and the business community,” he said. “To be the grand marshal and go down the newly renovated Lake Avenue will be a great honor.”
The supervisor said after COVID-19 protocols prevented or limited community gatherings for a couple of years, returning to parades, festivals, concerts and more was welcomed.
The St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade was canceled in 2020 a few days before it was due to take place. In 2021 a car parade was held, and the 2022 parade was postponed until a few weeks later due to inclement weather on its original scheduled date. According to Weber, it was the first time there was a rain date.
She said this year planning and participation have returned to pre-COVID conditions.
“There are a lot of people and a lot of excitement,” she said, adding that several children will be participating as princes and princesses this year. A resident turning Sweet 16 will also be in the parade handing out candy after her grandmother arranged to make her wish to participate come true.
“It’s a great day to celebrate the supervisor and celebrate St. James,” Weber said. “The feeling in St. James, it’s such a close community feeling.”
The St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 11. The event kicks off on the corner of Woodlawn and Lake avenues at 1 p.m. and continues to the train station.