Community, fun and the Irish make parade season fun here in NJ
The St. Patrick’s Day parades here in New Jersey is a wonderful time of year where we can celebrate community, have a little fun and the Irish celebrate their heritage.
The important thing about the parades is that you do not have to be Irish to enjoy them. Truth be told while I have quite a bit of Irish blood in me, I get such a kick out of seeing so many line the streets to enjoy the fun.
All the kids and adults laugh, enjoying the fun and for those two hours or so, the community is together and at peace.
There is no politics, just bands, floats, and enjoyment on the parade routes of two of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day parades not held on St. Patrick’s Day. The reason they do not hold them on St. Patrick’s Day is because some of the bands marching in the parade are committed to New York City or other larger parades on St Patrick’s Day, March 17.
This time of the year I enjoy participating in the St. Patrick’s Parades in both Belmar and Asbury Park.
The Belmar St. Patrick’s Parade held every year on the first Sunday of March. This year the parade is on Sunday, March 3rd.
Started in 1974 and its New Jersey’s largest parade and usually over 150,000 people and over 200,000 people when the weather has been exceptional all line the streets of Belmar and Lake Como.
Over 4,000 marchers with more than 35 bands and so many floats make this parade a must-see event.
Belmar and Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Parades are two of my favorite days.
For the Belmar parade around noon, we board the Long Branch Trolley with the New Jersey 101.5 Big Yellow Vans in tow and head to the staging area at the parade. Once there we place our signs on the trolley and the convertible that I ride in, and my friends George Beckett and Kevin Feehan set it all up and down the streets we go.
It is a rush for me to see all the people celebrating and I get a chance to say hello to the many parade attendees who travel to Belmar from all over the state to enjoy the parade. It is a tradition that I have participated in for over 28 years. I will be happily riding through the streets this year.
Asbury Park’s St. Patrick’s Parade is held the second Sunday in March. I enjoy the Asbury Park parade very much; is draped in music and fun. I have been honored to be the Grand Marshall of the Asbury Park parade in 2015.
The parade has grown every year and more people have flocked to town to enjoy the festivities.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the parade. Congratulations to the parade committee for making this such a magnificent event.
After the parade, the festivities continue with live bands performing at The Wonder Bar. It is a great after-party that is open to the public and I love great music and running into friends who I have not seen in a while.
I will see you Sunday, March 10 on the streets of Asbury Park. I have shared photos and great memories of two parades that I support and enjoy.
I hope you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and I hope to see you at the parades!
30 Photos of Dolly Parton Young
Gallery Credit: Evan Paul
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.