As has been the case for the last 45 years, St. Patrick's Day arrived a little early out in Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park on Saturday, as the annual Queens County Parade stepped off from suburban Belle Harbor and made its way to the beach.
There were bagpipers and drum corps, packs of little kids sitting on curbs, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians flying the flags of Ireland's 32 counties, firetrucks blaring their sirens, some flag-waving Trump supporters, and prodigious amounts of day drinking from spectators and participants alike (before, during, and after the parade). Bars were packed, and growing alarm over the spread of COVID-19 did not appear to depress turnout, which looked similar to last year's parade.
Among the local politicians who marched along the mile-long route were Comptroller Scott Stringer, District Attorney Melinda Katz, and Speaker of NYC Council Corey Johnson. Some spectators heckled those marching about property taxes as they passed by detached single-family houses that characterize Belle Harbor.
As always, the whole event had a seaside suburban feel to it.
The big St. Patrick's Day parade up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan (which as of this moment is still scheduled to go on) will be held on Tuesday, March 17th, starting at 11 a.m.