Sunnyside Post

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De Blasio joins parade-goers at Sunnyside/Woodside’s St. Pats for All

March 3, By Christian Murray

Kids from the Bronx, gay activists, die-hard Irishmen and, yes, plenty of politicians, all turned out for the 15th St. Pats for All Parade in Sunnyside/Woodside on Sunday.

The parade took on a very political flavor this year—with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is boycotting the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue, in attendance with more than 10 council members.

De Blasio told a large crowd at the beginning of the event that “this parade celebrates diversity, inclusion and unity and that is what this city is about.”

De Blasio said that when the parade got started 15 years ago, it was not easy getting it off the ground. “It, however, caught on because it was the right thing to do.”

“A lot of times you have to start things in the direction of progressive values and start a process of change… and over time people take to it and understand it is the right way,” he said.

The parade was established after Irish groups were prohibited from marching under gay banners on Fifth Ave. That policy continues and that is why de Blasio will not be attending the Manhattan event.

Melissa Mark-Viverito , the council speaker, said that this neighborhood’s St. Pats for All Parade is the place to be. “It includes everyone…and welcomes and embraces everyone.”

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, however, complimented the parade organizers on the big turnout. “One of the great joys of representing Sunnyside/Woodside is watching this grow each year. And I don’t think I have seen a crowd this big before,” Gianaris said.

Meanwhile, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who protested at the Fifth Avenue parade many years ago, focused largely on the neighborhood, urging parade goers to even shop at local stores. “Support this community that supports equality for all,” he said.

The message of gay rights and equality, however, still remained a central theme of the event.

This year’s grand marshals—Tom Duane and Terry McGovern–spoke at great length about gay rights and their concerns about oppressive laws that have been introduced or passed in Africa and India.


Among this year’s participants were The Keltic Dream Irish Dancers, a group of 35 children from the Bronx, who performed classic jigs as the speeches were going on.

The pipe bands and traditional Irish musicians added to the Irish authenticity of the event; so too, did an Irish language school and the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dancers. Even the local Sunnyside dog group, SUDSMUTS, marched, with their dogs dressed in an assortment of green regalia such as a scarf with “Kiss me I’m Irish.”

At the same time, there were also a variety of children’s groups marching under a multitude of banners; the Shannon Gaels, Swim Strong, Sunnyside/Woodside Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts of Sunnyside Woodside and various schools.

A plethora of gay groups were also out in force. Among them was Stonewall Democrats of NYC, Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee and DignityNY.

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65 Responses »

  1. Don’t make a great parade in Sunnyside all about the new gang leading the city (somewhere, where is not clear)…..

  2. Ari,

    There are many different parts of irish and American culture. The st pats for all parade allows all people who wish to celebrate irish culture join in the parade either by marching or watching. The parade helps to unite the many different parts of our community. Many of the groups that participated are from Sunnyside and woodside and all wish to show their support for all members of our community.

    I’m sorry that you don’t feel that it was an irish celebration. Maybe you should research who was honored.

  3. This is a gay green parade

  4. This type of parade would never happen in my country RUSSIA!

  5. Any chance that you’ll go back to your country. There are some job openings in the Ukraine.

  6. Hey, relax. Have a drink. Drinks are good

  7. In Russia, parade marches in you!

  8. There is no God. Wake up dummies. You belong to a cult people. Wise up.

    What an incredible waste of time. Religion was invented by MAN. It has been used as a tool of control, oppression, corruption and brainwashing for millennia. The Bible proudly tells stories of violence, slavery and the treatment of women as 2nd class individuals.

    Look up the history of Christianity and you will find centuries of oppression toward many groups: Jews, Gays,(both burned alive) Women (Imagine belonging to a religious sect that doesnt allow women to be priests-Catholocism, Judaism, Islam, the list goes on).

    This is your proud heritage? Congrats! No wonder the ‘great’ parade in Manhattan is really about getting wasted on booze…trying to forget the past maybe?

    “Many stories are told in connection with St. Patrick. The three-leaf clover was said to be used by the saintly bishop to explain the Trinity to the pagans, which is why it is such a common St. Patrick’s Day symbol today. Another legend has Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland; snakes were a popular symbol among the Irish pagans. He is certainly one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church.”

  9. truer words were never spoken Pathetic Sheep. People actually believe that some dude or dudette is looking down on them and judging them.

  10. Woody woodpecker comment above….

    A case study in intolerance.

  11. Libs hate god but he loves them any way

  12. Your chosen name suits you well, “pathetic sheep.”

  13. that de blasio is such a phony one term mayor.

  14. chilly lil billy, you are just sad & scared because you know I am right. At least I have the guts to say it. You on the other hand keep drinking the ‘holy’ kool-aid.

    Have you seen the story of Muslim nations that are banning the film ‘Noah’ because of its portrayal of a ‘Holy event’? Think about it…they are banning a fictitious movie about a ficticious event. Might be the funniest thing of 2014, thus far.


  15. Although I enjoyed your article I need to advise you the Sunnyside parade was not created or had anything to do with LGBT at its inception. I grew up in Sunnyside and its because we are the second largest Irish population to Woodlawn in NYC and thought it ridiculous we didn’t have a parade that it came to be. Beside Manhattan we always went to Rockaway for a parade. It was basically a street fair in the beginning just celebrating “everything Irish” but as we know it has turned into more than that now. Over the years it became what it is for LBGT and others who feel they are excluded from other parades most notably the 5th Ave parade.

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