BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — As the sun played hide and seek with the clouds yesterday afternoon, the Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick's Day Parade marched down Main Street — in step with Irish tradition and community spirit.

As the sun played hide and seek with the clouds yesterday afternoon, the Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick's Day Parade marched down Main Street — in step with Irish tradition and community spirit.

Thousands of visitors converged on March 4 upon this popular beach destination — several months before the start of the season — to enjoy the bands, bagpipers, fire trucks, floats and dozens of organizations that participated in the nearly three-hour procession.

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Beginning at the western end of Lake Como, the parade made its way past the spectators lining Main Street until reaching the viewing stand at Pyanoe Plaza at Ninth Avenue.

As many waited in the chilly temperatures for the parade to step off, there was plenty of other sights along the route — from streets vendors selling every kind of green mementos to the businesses offering traditional Irish fare, sweet treats and other parade-inspired festivities.

For many vendors, in fact, the parade marks the end of a sleepy winter and the prelude of the summer ahead, as visitors begin to day-trip especially on the weekends leading up to Memorial Day.

And no St. Patrick’s parade day would be complete without another time-honored tradition — gathering with friends and family at the many bars, restaurants and even in the homes of borough residents. As for the tried-and-true revelers, the bar-hopping lingered on until after dusk in both Belmar and Lake Como.

See below to watch this year’s parade, courtesy of the Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. For more photos or information, visit the committee’s website or its Facebook page.

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