Pride in Port celebrates 30 years

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Guggenheim students march in a previous edition of the parade. (Courtesy of Debbie Greco Cohen)

Like the changing color of the leaves, the annual Pride in Port parade has come to signify the fall season and the start of a new school year in Port Washington. This Saturday will mark the 30th time that Port students and organizations march down Main Street, but the celebration starts before and goes on long after the parade.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Mary Balaban of the Pride in Port Committee, which organizes the parade. “[I] believe in school spirit, and it makes things interesting.”

Festivities kick off at 9 a.m., with the annual Hall of Fame ceremony and breakfast in the cafeteria of Schreiber High School. The event will honor five Schreiber alumni who excelled in athletics: Robin (Beil) Mansfield of the class of 1976, Robert Moore of the class of 1967, John Nahas of the class of 1979, John Wade of the class of 1986, and Susan (Graser) Weiss of the class of 1998.

The ceremony is followed by the parade itself, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at Main Street near Belleview Avenue. The grand marshals for the parade are three officials with the local civic organization Residents Forward: Co-Presidents Laurie Courage and Rick Krainin and Chairman Curt Trinko.

The parade ends at Campus Drive, where the Family Fun Day will take place on the grounds of Weber Middle School starting at 12:30 p.m. Balaban said the carnival will have numerous free activities and rides. Music will be provided by the Bach2Rock music school.

“There will be stuff for the kids, like an inflatable bouncy castle,” she said. “And organizations from the high school will also be there, do face painting and things like that.”

At the same time, a luncheon honoring senior citizens will be held in the cafeteria at Schreiber High School. No reservations are needed for the event and the Town of North Hempstead will provide bus transportation from the Port Washington Senior Citizens Center to the parade and luncheon, and then back to the center at 2 p.m.

The Port Washington football team will play its homecoming game at 1:30 p.m., where the Vikings are slated to take on the Baldwin Bruins. In their return to Conference I this season, Port is 2-1, near the top of the section. The Schreiber Hall of Fame inductees will once again be honored during halftime.

Following the football game, the annual dinner-dance at the Polish-American Hall kicks off at 7 p.m. Dozens of local restaurants will provide food, and the event will feature raffle prizes and a performance by Encore. The Hall of Fame inductees will once again be honored, as will Port Washington Business Improvement District Executive Director Mariaan Dalimonte, who was named the 2018 Community Honoree.

“Honestly, I am overwhelmed,” Dalimonte said of the honor. “It is so nice to be recognized for my devotion to Port Washington … I was born here and I love this community.”

Tickets to the event can be purchased through eventbrite.com (search for “Pride in Port”), through the Chamber of Commerce or by calling 516-661-5360 or 516-883-6693. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, although the dinner often sells out.

Also before the parade will be the North Shore Animal League America’s “Walk and Wag” fundraiser, which starts at 9 a.m. at the North Hempstead Beach Park. This is the second annual edition of the event, which will feature vendors, food trucks and puppies recently rescued from Hurricane Florence. Participants can register for the event at animalleague.org.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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