The warmth of the beautiful autumn day that accompanied this year's Pride in Port celebration was surpassed only by the warmth of Port Washingtonians as they paid homage to their hometown last weekend.
This year's Pride in Port Adult Essay Winner Lisa Lay (left) with her daughter Kalia and baby Jina, and Ellen Brown and her daughter Samara, pose wearing their Sousa School sweat shirts.
Commenting on the event, co-chair Roy Smitheimer said, "Once again, Port's true blue (and white) colors came through, deepening our sense of pride in this great, diverse community of ours and enriching the experience of living in Port Washington."
PIP '98s other co-chair, Barbara Faticone, "When I was on the reviewing stand, I thought to myself... gee all the work and all the worry, everything just turns out so well I got a little teary eyed because it's such a wonderful thing . I think the spirit is coming back. I heard that the swing dance at school had the best turnout yet."
The annual Blue and White Dance held at the Polish American Hall was again successful, as old and new lovers of Port party-heartied all night, dancing, eating yumbo food from Shish Kebab and the desserts from several local bakeries, while socializing with 300 of their neighbors!
The parade this year boasted 48 entrants which included school groups, sport groups, charitable organizations, the PWPD and PWFD and many community groups. Pipe bands, the Port Washington High School Marching Band and HIP Pickles regaled the parade watchers and revved everyone with their rousing tunes. Observers were amazed at the number of people watching the parade because it seemed as if the whole town was marching down Main Street as participants in the parade!
A well-attended homecoming football game gave the enthusiastic fans what they came for: a big win. The Vikings prevailed against Valley Stream--- catapulting the team into 2nd place in the standings. The introduction of the Port Washington 1998 Hall of Fame Inductees and the Royal Court were made at half time.
The traditional field day activities and senior citizen luncheon provided special events for both young and old, while the swing dance which was part of homecoming weekend, set a new attendance record. On Sunday, the library featured the magic of Jean Maljean to everybody's delight.
But our descriptions do not convey the real feelings of the day the way that the words penned by Port resident Lisa Lay, who won the Pride in Port Adult Prose contest, do. Roy Smitheimer read her winning poem to the Pride in Port Committee recently and the committee members all recognized the powerful emotions that Pride in Port evokes, and which Lisa captured in her poem. Her poem reads as follows:
'Twas in the fall we moved to Port,
In Nineteen Ninety Three
My husband, three kids, one on the way
Oh, yes, of course, and me!
We'd wanted more, a better life
Fine schools and neighbors too.
Our hopes fulfilled, our dreams revived,
Port Washington came through.
One fine crisp and sunny morn
We walked through leaves turned brown,
To watch the Pride-in-Port Parade
March proudly through the town.
The sound of children's laughter
And many a friendly face,
I knew right then that we were home,
We'd come to the right place.
Five years have passed; our family's grown
In size and numbers too.
We're counting seven now, not five
A thriving, happy crew.
So as I joined in this year's march
The Main Street promenade.
I passed the spot my family stood
and watched that first parade.
I know my neighbors all by name, now
Know the harbor's ebb and foam.
But only in that moment knew,
Port Washington is home.