The first Ragamuffin Parade took place in late October 1966. Father McKenna of Our Lady of Angels and Ridgeite Cliff Scanlon rounded up neighborhood children from different parishes to put on a parade, just for fun.
Joan Curran, a Ragamuffin Committee member for 30 years, led the parade in 1970, when her son was just eight years old. “It was so much fun,” she said, noting that she wore her husband’s old derby and an oversized jacket. “Back then, no one wore costumes. Kids just wore their parents’ clothes so they looked messy like little ragamuffins. I marched down Fourth Avenue, leading the whole thing alongside Father McKenna. It was priceless.”
Howard Dunn, 84, attended the luncheon with his older brother Lawrence, 90. “Those were the good old days,” he said. “It was to keep the children occupied and to bring unity between kids and adults.”