Who doesn’t like a parade? Well, you’re in luck, New Jersey’s largest parade, the 50th annual Belmar-Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off Sunday, March 5. The parade is filled with bands, pipes and drums, marchers and floats and even me.

I’ve been in the parade for over 27 years and enjoy the atmosphere, the great crowds, some of which have grown to over 100,00 people, and the overall enthusiasm of those participating, organizers and the many smiling people lining the streets of Belmar and Lake Como.

In celebration of 50 years of the parade, it promises to be bigger and better than ever!

Big Joe Henry at Belmar's St Patrick's parade 2020 (Chris Eannucci, Townsquare Media)
Big Joe Henry at Belmar's St Patrick's parade 2020 (Chris Eannucci, Townsquare Media)

Many have questioned why the parade is held every year on the first Sunday in March and not on the St. Patrick’s Day. By holding the parade on the early March date the parade committee can book many pipes and drums marchers along with other bands and organizations who are not available on the actual St. Patrick’s date. That is a big key to their success. It’s also profitable for the establishments in Belmar, which will get a double hit, once on parade day and then again on St. Patrick’s Day.

The parade committee works is diligent in raising funds to pay for additional security, safety and trash removal. They do an impressive job in having diners get together and brunch at local establishments all prior to the parade.


I’m always thrilled to participate and fortunate to jump in with my good friends at Long Branch Trolley, which has two big red trolleys in the parade. We add the Big Yellow Van and I usually ride in a convertible so that I can say hi to those who wave and yell. Boy do they yell — it’s great.

I look forward to seeing you on Main Street in Lake Como and Belmar Sunday, March 5, bring your family and pets and beach chairs, pull up a curb and celebrate the wearing of the green at The 50th Annual Belmar Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

For more information on the parade and celebration log on to belmarparade.com

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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