LAKE COMO/BELMAR, NJ — Thousands of visitors are expected to descend upon both communities this Sunday, March 1 for the 47th annual Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Here’s what you need to know whether you’re coming to town for the parade or a local resident preparing for the major event, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in Lake Como at North Boulevard and Main Street.

Beginning at 6 a.m. on Sunday, the entire length of Main Street in Belmar and Lake Como — from Fifth Avenue south to North Boulevard — will be closed to vehicular traffic until the conclusion of the parade. Eastbound and westbound traffic will be permitted on Eighth Avenue and 12th Avenue until 11:30 a.m.

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To reach the east side of Main Street, use Fifth Avenue from Main Street or Ocean Avenue from Spring Lake. Please note that Ocean Avenue will not be accessible between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea because the bridge linking both towns is closed for repair work.

Those coming from all points north should enter Belmar via the Main Street bridge from Avon and turn left on Fifth Avenue, according to parade organizers (see map above).

To keep traffic flowing, there are no scheduled openings of the Main Street bridge, except for two brief periods — from 7 and 8 a.m. and then from 3 to 4 p.m. — to allow for passage of any commercial fishing boats in and out of the Belmar marina.

In addition, 18th Avenue and North Boulevard from B Street to Main Street in Lake Como will be closed starting at 6 a.m. to make way for the parade's staging area.

As a result of the road closures, parking will be prohibited on North Boulevard along Lake Como, on 18th Avenue from Main Street in Lake Como to Ocean Avenue in Belmar and on Main Street in both Belmar and Lake Como. People who do not move their vehicles will be ticketed and their vehicles towed. These rules apply in both Belmar and Lake Como.

NJ Transit will be operating extra trains on the North Jersey Coast Line from the Belmar Train Station, located at Eighth and 10th Avenue — right around the corner from the parade. Click here for details.

Parking will be at a premium in both towns. Please be mindful of street closures and follow directions from the Belmar Police Department.

Recommended parking for the parade will be in the following locations:

  • Belmar marina at 10th Avenue and Route 35.
  • Belmar Plaza with access on 10th and Eighth Avenues.
  • Dempsey Park at 16th and Railroad Avenues.
  • Parking lot at 13th and Railroad Avenues.
  • Behrman Park in Lake Como, 18th and Railroad Avenues.

For those who cannot make the parade or don’t want to battle the crowds, it will be live-streamed directly from YouTube by clicking here.

The traditional procession has grown into one of the largest and best attended parades in New Jersey with nearly 6,000 marchers, more than 40 bands and some 200,000 spectators.

As for the weather, the National Weather Service's latest forecast calls for a sunny and breezy day with temperatures in the low 40s.

For more information, visit the parade’s website, or the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee can be reached at 732-280-2648 or by email at info@abelmarparade.com.

For the latest updates, visit the parade’s Facebook page.

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