Temperatures in the 20s and a relentless, biting wind made getting through stretches of the annual Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday more about survival than celebration, but enough rowdy pockets of day drinkers and willing packs of marchers ensured that the Rockaway Peninsula once again felt the Irish love.
As is always the case the starting point of the festivities was Belle Harbor, a suburban neighborhood of detached houses, front lawns, and the occasional Trump flag. Mayor Bill de Blasio skipped the parade this year, but Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James froze their faces off to show support for the community.
The arctic blast also drove many of the day's traditional lawn- and porch-parties indoors, with people content to view the parade through their windows. The NYPD officers on duty (as opposed to those playing bagpipes or spectating on the sidelines with Solo cups) were the only ones forced to stand outside for the entire afternoon, and they looked miserable.
But it was the kids who were the real heroes of the day, as they huddled for hours on the curb, or danced and cheered along the entire parade route, un-warmed by whiskey.