SEASIDE HEIGHTS – The annual Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade marched through Seaside’s Boulevard for the 33rd time on March 11.
People came from every corner of Ocean County—wrapped up in scarves, gloves and hats in every shade of green—proving that not even 25 degrees and 30 mile per hour wind gusts can keep the Irish away from a good party.
A Seaside-bound motor vehicle accident just past the bridge on Route 37 delayed the parade for half an hour, with police sirens, bagpipers and marching bands kicking things off at 12:30 p.m.
The crowds became larger and livelier as local government and community groups made their way from the Park to the Heights into a sea of green. Eateries on the street were packed to the rooftops with parade-goers, some of them serving hot chocolate and hot corned beef sandwiches right on the street.
But it wasn’t all business as usual. This year’s parade made history by naming its first ever Grand Marshal, Timothy E. Ryan, a local businessman and cancer survivor who owns several funeral homes of the same name throughout the Toms River area. He is also a proud Irish American.
The procession ended with a group of parade marshals carrying a parachute-sized American flag through the crowds, its red and white stripes flapping uncontrollably in the heavy wind.
Here’s to hoping spring weather comes just wee bit earlier for next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
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