BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Many are hoping the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Belmar will restore some hope and joy to the New Jersey community still suffering months after superstorm Sandy.
The bag pipes will be sounded this Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
“It’s important for us to do it. It brings back a sense of normalcy to the Jersey Shore, which we’re desperately in need of,” Mayor Matt Doherty told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.
“Since Sandy hit Belmar and the Jersey Shore, generosity from the people of New York / New Jersey has been overwhelming. We’d love for them to join us again,” he said.
He said the 40th annual parade has special significance.
It will offer folks a chance to see the rebuilding. Ocean avenue will be open temporarily and the new boardwalk is ahead of schedule.
“There were over 3,500 brand new pilings driven into the sand. They’re gonna see the girders. They’re gonna see the joist put on top and in the most northern part they’ll be able to see the new decking,” Doherty said.
People have been generous. The Buy a Board campaign has raised more than $440,000.
To handle the anticipated crush of spectators, perhaps a couple hundred thousand, NJ TRANSIT will run extra trains.
“Come to our town, patronize our businesses, and be a part of our recovery,” Doherty said.
If you can’t make it, you can watch the parade online. CLICK HERE for the official website.