Sunday was the day of the annual Passing of the Sash ceremony and Irish soda bread contest in downtown Patchogue, where crowds gathered at Public House 49 in anticipation of the March 19 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the village.

There they were treated to an Irish-themed band, Bangers and Mash, step dancers and soda bread from eight different participating eateries.

Update: PeraBell Food Bar‘s soda bread won for a third year in a row.

And of course, last year’s grand marshals, Peter and Anne Marie Sarich, bestowed the orange, green and white sash upon their successor, Father Francis Pizzarelli of St. Francis de Sales R.C. Church. Father Frank noted that his mother is from Ireland.

He and past parade grand marshals in attendance then joined together for a group photo outside.

Click here for additional details about the 21st annual parade and 5K.