SEASIDE PARK – We’re only about five months away from the return of the Ocean County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade but that didn’t stop a lot of visitors to the borough’s marina from going green in support of the Irish.
The Shamrock By The Sea Irish Festival featured various vendors, bag pipe music and other musical entertainment in late September. The free event also filled a field near the Seaside Park Marina on J Street.
The day-long activity served as a fundraiser for the Ocean County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee which is looking to return with its regular emerald-lined parade rolling through Seaside Park and Seaside Heights in March. The popular parade was canceled last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The parade committee is among many organizations whose fundraising efforts have been hurt by the pandemic. Shamrock By The Sea served as a fundraiser for the parade as well as a fun community event of its own.
There were a number of Irish craft vendors, an area for wee ones to enjoy some children’s activities and another area where adults could quench their thirst with a pint of Guiness/Harp/Smithwicks/Irish Cider.
There was some Irish step dancing observed and food to purchase. There were performances by the Ballyhaunis and whether you were Irish or not, you could enjoy being Irish during the day.
The event also featured the Shamrock and Thistle Pipes & Drums, a popular fixture in Ocean County.
Many came sporting varying shades of green. Others simply stopped by to see what was happening and to browse the various tables. A large American flag was folded with music playing and attendees watching to signify the close of the day.