Days before the night-in with the comforting company of a glass of hot punch as the big snow fell, it began.

Neither winter nor spring, it arrives in these New Jersey parts like clockwork each year – the
Happy Saint Patrick Season!

Planning the parades for this 'marching season' was underway last year and now the events are starting to unfold.

In my latest home place, the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee kicked things off with their annual Celebrity Bartenders fundraiser. It is a brilliant Irish Sunday afternoon where all who are present are VIPs and warmly welcomed.

The Celtic rock band Bloody Callan shook the Kenilworth Veterans Center, where hundreds of parade supporters gathered. Their sound was glorious noise.

Rare is the sight of Bob Wade on the war pipes playing beneath a painting of U.S. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

Bobby Jeans, a retired cop and decorated Vietnam vet, was there making his first public appearance as this year’s Grand Marshal.

It was all fitting since the 2014 parade is dedicated to the POW/MIA mission.

Even the local state TV news showed up for the happenings. Parade Chairwoman Kathy Noonan and the Grand Marshal looked and sounded sharp on News 12 New Jersey.

The day was a family affair as well with the parents, sister and the wee nephew at the table as Honey Badger played with the mass band of war pipes and drums.

The parade committee topped the day by honoring the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies AOH of Elizabeth, and Ballina native Gene Gillespie.

The Mayo man owns the Blackthorn Pub in Kenilworth and helps keep the tradition alive with live Irish bands every Sunday evening. Sure, you couldn’t have dead ones.

Many joyful souls found themselves there after the parade event since Willie Lynch and his band were playing the joint on Michigan Avenue.

St. Patrick Season celebrations are blooming all over the Garden State.

The Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is hosting an “Irish Wake” fundraiser on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb 16 at Hemmingway’s in Seaside Heights. It seems a band called “No Irish Need Apply” is the entertainment. I believe they are a Philly crew and I am looking forward to a fresh sound.

The folks putting on the Belmar & Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade are presenting “An Evening of Irish Culture: Irish Heroes of the Civil War” on Friday evening, Feb 28 at the Waterview Pavilion in Belmar.

From Bergen County to Atlantic City, Irish American New Jersey is busy ramping up to celebrate their heritage.

Sadly again this year, there will be no proper parade or tribute to St. Patrick and the Irish in Hoboken, thanks to Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Well, she is a little busy with our governor at the moment.