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Snow, Costumes and Politics All on Display at St. Pat’s For All Parade

 

March 2, 2015 By Christian Murray

Kids from the Bronx, gay activists and even a horse, all turned out in the snow for The St Pat’s for All Parade in Sunnyside/Woodside on Sunday.

The parade, yet again, took on a very political flavor this year—with Mayor Bill de Blasio and several city council members all noting that they would boycott the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue again this year unless it is more inclusive of gay groups.

There were more snowflakes than shamrocks this year and attendance was down from previous years. Nevertheless the message about equality and human rights came through loud and clear.

“This is what pride is all about,” de Blasio told the crowd at the beginning event. “Pride in the city, pride in everyone’s heritage and pride in being whatever you want to be.”

De Blasio said this parade “celebrates Irish heritage no matter who you are,” while the Fifth Avenue parade is not open to all. While one LGBT group, [email protected], has been approved to march in the Fifth Avenue parade, de Blasio said that it was not enough. He said he is hopeful that more gay groups will be included by the time the March 17 takes place.

Several other politicians echoed the mayor’s sentiments.

“We will continue to stand up and make sure that the bigger parade on Fifth Avenue is more inclusive,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the council speaker, who also said that she and the city council would not attend unless all groups could attend.

However, the parade did include members of the horse-drawn carriage industry who were there to protest de Blasio’s plan to put them out of business–based on animal rights. Signs were placed in store windows along Skillman Avenue in support of the industry—which has a deep link to the Irish community.

De Blasio, at the end of the event, acknowledged that the contentious horse-drawn carriage bill would be subject to a vigorous debate.

There were also some attendees who expressed displeasure about the Mayor’s proposal to build on Sunnyside Yards.

The mayor acknowledged he had heard attendees voice their concern about the Yards along the parade route, reported Capitol New York.

However, it “opens an opportunity for a huge amount of affordable housing so people can continue to live in Queens, many of whom are being forced out right now by rising prices,” de Blasio told Capitol New York.

Participants

Among this year’s participants were the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dancers, who performed classic Irish jigs.

The pipe bands and traditional Irish musicians added to the Irish authenticity of the event; so, too, did an Irish language school and all the Irish flags. Even the local Sunnyside dog group, SUDSMUTS, marched, with their dogs dressed in an assortment of green regalia.

At the same time, there were also several children’s groups marching under a multitude of banners, such as the Shannon Gaels and the Marching Cobras.

A plethora of gay groups were also out in force. Among them were the Lesbian and Gay Democrats of Queens and the Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee.

email the author: [email protected]

16 Comments

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Givemeliberty

Kerry Kennedy’s niece (the daughter of the awful Robert Kennedy Jr.) tried to use her older sister’s i.d. to get into a club and when she was refused, screamed, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?’ Typical self-entitled, self indulgent behavior from an awful family. The young lady has already made page 6!

Reply
Club Leabhar Nua Eabhrac

Is iontach lucht na Gaeilge a fheiceáil sa bhfiseán ain! Buíochas!
It’s wonderful to see Irish-speakers in that video! Thanks!

Reply
cool

It was terrific!!! Kerri Kennedy’s words were beautiful. Really proud to live in Sunnyside when this event takes place.

Reply
Anonymous visitor

As one guy said this morning ‘Who needs the parade, stupid politics’>
Make sure you raise a poster so your name is seen.
JVB had a nice tan from his Israel vacay.
People stay in Queens thx to the yard? BS! Down with the Yards proposal,
1-term mayor.

Reply
Mr. 11104

I bet Mayor won’t make it next year, it looks like a pretty weak parade, I am not sure if it was the weather or if there is a high number of homophobes in our neighborhood, but I wish it was a better parade. I admit it, I didn’t go either. I bet a lot more people would show up if you advertised free beer. It seems like sunnyside folks prefer getting drunk on cheap tap beer instead of getting together to do something for the community.

Reply
Givemeliberty

This parade bombed out – poorly attended and with the number 7 train being down . . . a joke.

Reply
Willow

I was there and had a great time. It may have been smaller than in years past and the snowfall deterred some, but those there had a good time. In no way was it a bomb.

Reply
Craic Dealer

This is what pride is all about,” de Blasio told the crowd at the beginning event. “Pride in the city, pride in everyone’s heritage and pride in being whatever you want to be.”

Except if you’re a self-made billionaire that’s not on TV and donates significant amount to charity while dodging the middleman (a politician).

Reply
mike

I’d like to meet your wife. Where is she? Does she know you write shit about people online?

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