Officials increase security measures ahead of Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The mayor of Belmar says St. Patrick's Day revelers should expect a lot of fun along with an increase of security at this Sunday's annual parade.
Mayor Matt Doherty says that tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the parade this year, so security measures have been increased. This includes involvement from the FBI and Homeland Security.
Doherty says that concrete barriers have been placed around the parade route, to prevent cars from driving through it.
"Also we're taking up all of our garbage cans, our decorative garbage cans, so nothing can get put in there like what happened in Seaside back in the fall," Dorherty says.
The mayor is referring to a pipe bomb that was detonated inside a garbage can along the race route of a Marine 5K race in Seaside Park on Sept. 17. No one was hurt when that bomb exploded. Ahmad Rahimi faces federal charges for allegedly planting that bomb, along with several others in Elizabeth and Manhattan.
Belmar officials have also sealed manhole covers with wax as a precaution. This will alert them if anyone tampers with the manholes.
"This is going to be as safe and secure an environment for families to come on Sunday that we've ever had before," the mayor says.
The annual parade draws thousands each year.
At Anchor Tavern, 100 kegs and 500 cases of bottled beer are ready to go. The tavern owner says they also have 1,500 pounds of corned beef being prepared.
Two Belmar Elementary School students were also given the honor of painting Main Street with the traditional green stripe to mark the end of the parade route.