It seems only fitting that the man in charge of Montauk’s fleet of big green trucks is bestowed the honor, but Mickey Valcich’s civic contributions are the real reason for his being named Grand Marshal of the hamlet’s 50th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It is to be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 25, and is sponsored by the Montauk Friends of Erin.
A citizen of Montauk since the age of 3, Valcich is well known as the owner and operator of Mickey’s Carting and Mickey’s Montauk Mowing, a company he started in 1983.
He is also a veteran of more than 30 years in both the Montauk Lions Club and the Montauk Fire Department. He is chairperson of the Montauk Junior Fire Department, a group he started in 2006. Despite his best efforts at humility, he is known for a boundless generosity towards neighbors in need, albeit anonymously. To that end he has given time, money and services to countless organizations and persons, including senior citizens and other financially marginalized groups.
“We try to stay out of the limelight,” he said of himself and his lovely wife, Valinda.
The spotlight cast on Valcich in the coming weekend may be a bit more Kelly green in hue than lime, but it is a spotlight nonetheless. He said he was particularly touched to be named Grand Marshal of this year’s festivities, which kick off with a luncheon in his honor at Gurney’s Inn on Friday, March 23, followed by a cocktail party at the same venue on Saturday night, and culminating with the parade on Sunday.
Being Grand Marshal “at any parade” would be an honor, but “the 50th anniversary is great.”
Valcich will have had his practice run in the business of marching, at the big parade in New York City, before he takes to the street in Montauk’s slightly smaller spectacle. There, it will be his job to “make sure you get from the fire station to the IGA,” the official route of the parade.
He and Valinda are the parents of two children, Tyler, 18, who is studying to become a diesel mechanic, and Carin, 22. The entire family loves animal, as evidenced by the dogs and cats constantly on hand at the couple’s downtown Montauk offices. Valinda typically has at least four dogs and lots of cats, and Carin, who lives in Texas, keeps charge of the family’s horses, along with her own three canine companions.
“She doesn’t travel light,” chuckled Valcich, but she will be traveling nonetheless, to see her father honored in the weekend of festivities. Contrary to tradition, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. this year, and Valcich, along with many others, is hoping for a robust turnout of peaceful parade-goers.
“It’s a good shot in the arm for Montauk,” he said, especially at the end of a long winter season.