Feb. 24, 2016 Staff Report
The 17th annual St. Pat’s For All parade will march with renowned Irish author Colum McCann and Irish-American philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman as Grand Marshals, organizers have announced.
The event will begin on March 6 at 1 p.m., with the actual march kicking off at 2 p.m. The parade starts on the corner of 43rd Street/Skillman Avenue and finishes at the intersection of 58th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
As is typical for the parade, there will be entertainment including bagpipe bands, puppets and stilt walkers.
McCann, a Dublin native, is a novelist and short story author who has received honors including the National Book Award and International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize, among numerous others.
Glucksman has been involved in philanthropy for more than two decades, focusing on education, the arts, healthcare and peace initiatives in both the U.S. and Ireland.
Other attendees will include U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm.
St. Pat’s for All, one of Sunnyside’s most popular events, began as a predominantly gay-pride parade, organized by a number of Irish men and women who were not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue under a gay banner.
Today, the parade draws participants from a wide variety of groups, from LGBT organizations to community and arts groups to athletic teams.
This year’s parade also ushers in what organizers are calling “a new era of Irish LGBT inclusion on 5th Ave,” following last year’s announcement that the Manhattan parade would invite an Irish LGBT group to participate for the first time.
That group is the Lavender and Green Alliance, founded by St. Pat’s for All co-chair Brendan Fay. The Manhattan parade takes place March 17.
“After 25 years [of exclusion] LGBT Irish will be where we belong on March 17, all together with our Irish community on Fifth Avenue,” Fay said in a statement. “I am proud of the role of St. Pat’s For All in bringing us to this historic threshold.”
Groups can still register to participate in the parade at stpatsforall.com.