BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — The 48th annual Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade will not be held on March 7 due to the coronavirus.
After days of speculation, parade organizers on January 6 officially announced the news on its Facebook page: “Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the 2021 parade cannot be held due to COVID-19. The parade committee is exploring options for other types of celebrations this season, so stay tuned for updates. Thank you as always for your support.”
During Belmar's reorganization meeting on January 5, Mayor Mark Walsifer said the cancellation came after talks with the parade committee and businesses, particularly in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The last thing we wanted to do was cancel it,” he said of the traditional procession, which 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.
In addition, due to indoor gathering limits under current COVID-19 restrictions, the parade committee is unable to hold its traditional pre-parade fundraisers held at bars and restaurants throughout the area — a major source of revenue to support the large undertaking.
Nutley canceled its 2021 St. Patrick's Day Parade and has already set the date for the 2022 event.