More than several hundred hundred people gathered at Ross Dock in Fort Lee Friday to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County.
Pipers from as far away as Chicago; police, firemen and first responders from all over the state and beyond; friends and family came out on what can only be described as a picture perfect day.
New Milford resident Kenny Perrino, band drum sgt. and detective-sgt. of the Fort Lee Police department, and Brian McKeever, band president and Hillsdale police officer, organized the three-day event that included a a welcoming party at Poitin Still in Hackensack Thursday, the Icebreaker on Friday and the pipe band concert Saturday at BergenPac.
McKeever said that the band has been to events like this in the bigger cities, but not on the scale of what he and Perrino have done this weekend. "We want the bands coming in (from Chicago, Cleveland and Boston) to have a really good time while being able to take advantage of New York City.
"We arranged for some of the guys to go down to the 9/11 museum," McKeever said. "We were even able to arrange for them to go up into the Freedom Tower."
"Some of the other bands wanted to visit the Intrepid, so we arranged for them to get there and back," he added.
Founding band member Mike Conway said, as he surveyed all the people who came out to celebrate the band's anniversary, "This all began with an idea 20 years ago."
"20 years ago, a group of us decided to form a band in honor of our friend Doug Connell who had played with the Emerald Society," Conway said. "We didn't realize it then, but we know it now--we created more than a band, we created a family."