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Revelers Around The Tri-State Area Don Green Apparel For Early St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Credit 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten

Credit 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While the actual St. Patrick’s Day isn’t coming for a couple of weeks, a parade was held in the Rockaways Saturday as a source of hope for those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, it was a St. Patrick’s Day Parade that had to happen. People said it was their way of saying the Rockaways are coming back – very slowly, but very surely.

Mayor Bloomberg attended the event, but as CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian reported, was met with a chorus of boos and cheers as he walked the streets of the Rockaways.

Monsignor John Brown, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, said people are coming back, and have been rebuilding.

But to be sure, the crowds along the sidewalk watching the parade were quite thin.

“We’re kind of creating a new normal,” Brown said. “It’s not what it was, you know, but it will be something new.”

Bob Russo said amen to that.

“You know, we’re going to come back, stronger than ever,” he said. “Rockaway will be a good time like it used to be.”

In New Jersey revelers flocked to Hoboken, where a parade was not held but Lepre-Con festivities were underway.

Lines stretched around the block outside of a number of popular Hoboken night-spots, early on Saturday morning, as party goers dressed in green hats and t-shirts prepared to take advantage of drink specials.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten that increased fines for a variety of offenses were helping to keep crowds manageable.

“We increased it to two-thousand dollars a couple of years ago, but it’s something that’s gone on for a long time and we enforce it,” she said.

A St. Patrick’s Day Parade was also set to be held Sunday in Belmar, N.J., which likewise was devastated by Sandy. Another St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens is also planned for Sunday.

The annual parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will be held in two weeks.

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