The first Saturday in March may not be much of a holiday for most of New York City, but out in Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park it's the time of year when residents dust off their wacky shamrock sunglasses and throw a party on their front lawn in honor of the annual Queens County St. Patrick's Day parade.

All of the usual St. Paddy's sights and sounds were on hand yesterday: bagpipes and drum corps, Irish dance schools and union banners, giddy little kids and antique vehicles, novelty leprechaun gear and oceans of green. But because Belle Harbor is basically the suburbs, it all felt almost small town, and the homestretch along grittier Rockaway Boulevard was virtually empty.

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There were politicians, of course ("Ever since Sandy they come", lamented one fidgety marcher, forced to stand and wait while speeches were made), including Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was booed lustily by the locals all along the route. Of course, booing the mayor in Rockaways is a tradition of its own.

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

As is the custom, there was also plenty of enthusiastic day drinking on display, both among the spectators and the marchers. A young women said the celebration out here in southern Queens is "even drunker than the regular St. Patrick's", but I didn't stick around late enough to see if she was right.