As Grand Marshal Howell Resident Gets New View of Belmar Parade
Longtime volunteer gets special honor
For Larry Walsh, the Belmar Lake Como St. Patrick's Day Parade has become a family tradition.
After 14 years of helping to coordinate the event that brings large crowds to the Jersey Shore Walsh was selected to serve as the Grand Marshal for the festivities. Over the past nine years the Howell resident has served as the starter for the parade but this time the executive board put him at the front of the line. "I was kind of shocked," he said. "It was nice."
Even as the Grand Marshal, Walsh said he knew he would not be able to relax once he got to the event. "I still have to help set up that end because they don't really have someone to take over," he said. "I start at the top and march down with my family and friends."
This year marked not only the 40th anniversary of the parade but also the first since Hurricane Sandy. Walsh said he was honored by the invitation. "You'd always like to do it," he said. "It wasn't something I was campaigning for at all. I've been there so long and been doing a good job so they decided to have me as grand marshal."
On a yearly basis Walsh said the parade usually brings in more than 100 cars and floats, close to two dozen bagpipers and numerous high school bands. "You have to be patient," he said of putting it all together. "It works well. We do it with like 15 people. I have a small crew, but they do a great job."
Walsh said he is looking forward to experiencing more of his Irish heritage when he takes the family to Ireland later this year.