GerritsenBeachers are ready for summer!

GerritsenBeachers are ready for summer!
Photo by Jon Farina

Time to break out the sunscreen!

Hundred of kids marched through the streets of Gerritsen Beach during the annual Kiddie Beach Parade on June 17.

The celebratory parade is how the close-knit neighborhood marks the unofficial start to summer, when kids are out of school and get to splash all day in the water at the local Kiddie Beach.

This year, however, Mother Nature had a different idea in mind for how the kids would make a splash, dumping torrential rain on the procession — but that didn’t stop everyone from having a blast during the pirate-themed parade, said one of the organizers.

“We did have fun, we tried our best — we had a lot of rain but we persevered,” said Lillybeth Hanson.

The neighborhood will celebrate its 100th birthday next year, and its residents have been flocking to Kiddie Beach for the last 51 years, said Hanson, and as soon as the end-of-school bells sound for good next week, the beach will be open every day so locals can soak up all the sun they want.

“We’re anxious for the beach to be open,” she said. “I go swimming there every day after work and I enjoy it on the weekends, read a book under the trees.”

The past president of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association George Broadhead was the parade’s grand marshal, and the group honored all of the past volunteers and leaders, said Hanson.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.