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Planning Begins for Sunnyside/Woodside St. Pats Parade

Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy Scout Out New Route (Photo: QueensPost)

Feb. 5, 2011 By Christian Murray

The 12th annual Sunnyside/Woodside St. Pats For All parade is scheduled to kick off on March 6th at 47thStreet and Skillman Ave (details below).

The parade, which has typically started at 43rd and Skillman, has been shortened this year following the New York Police Dept.’s decision to reduce the length of all parades.

The St. Pats For All parade is arguably the community’s most popular event. When it began 12 years ago, it was initially viewed as a gay-pride parade, since it was started by a number of Irish men and women who were not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Ave under a gay banner.

Today, the Sunnyside/Woodside event has morphed into more of a community parade, which includes seniors, children, minorities and even local canines.

“We don’t want to be an isolated group celebrating our Irish uniqueness,” said Brendan Fay, a co-chair with Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy. Instead, “We want it to be about Irish culture with a focus on building a bridge to different groups in the neighborhood.”

“When we say St. Pats for all, we mean it,” Fay said.

“We want all local groups to join us in the parade,” he said, and urges community groups to go to the website and register to march under their own banner.

“We have Mexican, Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Chilean groups coming — and we really want children’s groups, theater groups and seniors to march,” Fay said. “We want everyone to come.”

But the event will still remain true to its Irish heritage. There will be bagpipe bands and traditional Irish musicians, as well as Irish folk dancers.

This year’s Grand Marshals are Patricia Lewsley, Commissioner for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland, and James P. Cullen, Brigadier General (Ret.) and founding President of the Brehon Law Society.

Cullen, who is a human rights lawyer and is originally from Sunnyside, organised a collation of retired army generals who advised President Barack Obama on shutting down Guantanamo Bay.

This year’s parade is similar to previous years in that it is being run on an extremely low budget by a cash-starved group.

However, for the first time, there will be some city funding to ease the burden. Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm are both allocating $3,500 each toward the parade.

But it comes with a catch. The money isn’t likely to reach the group until after the parade takes place.

In the meantime, Fay has to pay bands, cover the cost of portable toilet rentals, and find the funds to pay for the cost of printing posters.


Takes place

Sunday, March 6

People assemble for the parade at 1:30 for music (46th and Skillman)

Parade begins at 2:00 at 47th and Skillman

Ends: 58th Street and Woodside Ave.


Brendan Fay (718) 721-2780 or Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy (718) 898-8140

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Slua Nua

It’s good to see in the online photos of this parade that among the marchers, Queens has a Gaeilgeoiri group that is not run by bigots. The more visible American Irish speakers in the NYC area censor those of us whose politics are not far enough to the right (and it seems to me that the next step to the right would be Naziism). You’d never see this event publicized by Daltai or on a Gaeilige i Nua Eabhrac FB page. At least I haven’t seen it mentioned, but then I’m one of those that the Gaeilgeoiri of the NY area censor/”block” for being left-leaning. So cé sibh, a Shlua Nua, Gaeilgeoiri Nua-Eabhraic?


I don’t know where you live Mallory but we love the parade here.
Note the hundreds of participants, even the non-Irish groups who what to participate, vs the dozen or less “protesters”.

Why Sunnyside? Because it’s a vibrant Irish Community.


The St. Pat’s parade in Manhattan is organized by a conservative Catholic group. They are free to regard homosexuality as a sin whether you agree with them or not. That’s their right. Openly gay groups marching goes against their religious beliefs. You don’t see them trying to insert themselves into the Gay Pride parade so why do the gay groups feel the need to force themselves onto the Manhattan parade and spoil it for people who are more religious and tradition minded?

For that reason, I think the Sunnyside parade is a good idea. Better to start your own parade than rain on somebody else’s.

Anton LaVey

Oh, I assume that she’s/he’s real. Perhaps her god made her queer as well and she hasn’t gotten her head around that, hence the homophobia. Mallory, come on out to the parade! You can sing Janis Joplin songs and wave your American flag to your heart’s content!


Always fun to watch a bunch of Far Leftists with their anti-American signs pretending to be “diverse”. Notice that no Republicans want anything to do with this parade. And I recall anti-police and anti-troop signs. Thanks, Brendan – why don’t you try doing this in Astoria, where you live.


Of course, there are gay Irish people – they can march on Fifth Avenue but they can’t have a banner stating they are gay. This is nothing but a far left gay pride parade. BTW – isn’t Anton LaVey the name of some devil worshiper in San Francisco?


Diversity equals perversity! This “parade” has nothing to do with St. Patrick and precious little to do with Ireland. As for the “elderly protesters” thanks for the elder bashing, Freedom! I guess Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.


It’s a parade to celebrate all the residents in an historically Irish neighborhood. And thank God for the diversity of our residents!


This parade isn’t in honor of Saint Patrick, it’s to promote the deviates’ agenda of “gay marriage”. Taxpayers shouldn’t be force to foot the bill for this. Stop wasting our money, Council members.


The beauty of the parade is watching the elderly protesters carrying their signs reading simply ‘sodomy’ while the various groups march past. I love America! Please stay in Sunnyside forever (or at least until the 5th Ave parade allows Irish groups who happen to be gay to participate.)


Lets try to be positive. Sure, there are many things you might not like about the parade but overall it is good for the neighborhood.


I don’t know what parade you watch but the neighborhood generally boycotts this pro gay marriage, anti-American, anti-troop parade and, in fact, hates it! And we want Brendan Fay to put his parade in Astoria, where we believe he lives.


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