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St. Pats for All kicks off March 5, TV legend Phil Donahue named a grand marshal

Feb. 17, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

The St. Pat’s For All parade will be kicking off in Sunnyside for the 18th year in a row early next month.

The parade, founded by members of the Irish LGBT community after not being permitted to walk in the Fifth Avenue parade under a gay banner, will march through Sunnyside on March 5, beginning at 1 p.m. at 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue.

The parade will move up Skillman Avenue and finish at 58th Street and Woodside Avenue.

The parade is shaping up to be the biggest ever, said co-chair Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, who said that new groups have been signing up for the first time, including many immigration organizations and cultural groups.

She said that depending on the weather, the parade normally has about 100 groups walk each year, but she expects to see many more this year, though she did not know how many yet.

D’Arcy guessed that the increase in registrations was due to the current political climate, and people gravitating towards inclusive organizations.

“Our parade has always been an inclusive parade that welcomes all immigrant groups and organizations,” D’Arcy said. “We welcome everyone to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and our shared history of immigration. We remember that the Irish were in the same position coming in to this country and city in the past, and many still are.”

For the first time last year, the Irish LGBT community marched under their own banner in the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade in addition to hosting their own. They will be marching in the Fifth Avenue parade again this year.

Since the St Pat’s For All parade began, it has grown from primarily a gay pride parade to a huge community celebration of diversity and human rights.

“It’s focus on equality is what makes it different, and it’s a celebration of the Irish historically being progressive people and fighting for the rights of their own people and all others, and being proud immigrants who have helped this country and city grow,” D’Arcy said.

Two grand marshals who embody the theme of human rights will lead the parade this year, television icon Phil Donahue and disabilities activist Anastasia Somoza.

Phil Donahue

Donahue is best known for his journalism and his television show that ran for 29 years, on which he interviewed world leaders and celebrities, including many U.S. presidents, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, and more.

Following his show ending in 1996, he continued on to several other journalistic and humanitarian endeavors.

“He is a renowned human rights activist besides being a TV personality, and always stood out as journalist who was willing to make opinions known politically and was fearless in this way,” said D’Arcy.

Somoza had attended the parade for years, D’Arcy said, and stepped in to the spotlight this year by giving a keynote speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention about Americans with disabilities.

“She’s always been a great supporter and her whole family comes every year, and now she has become a nationally known spokesperson for disability rights,” D’Arcy said. “We said here is this friend of ours doing amazing things, let’s invite her.”

Many local Sunnyside bars will keep the Irish spirit going by offering live music and drink specials following the parade, beginning at 3 p.m. and running late in to the evening.

Groups interested in participating in the parade can still register to walk at

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No Cameras No JVB

Are right to life people welcome to march at this so called “parade for all”?..Are “Deplorables” also welcome to wave M.A.G.A banners and March up Skillman ave? How about those opposed to gay marriage? Conservatives?..The people that tell you Bruce Jenner is now a woman are the same people that tell you this is a parade for all!!


If you want to be a reactionary d-bag I suggest you just go to the 5th avenue parade where it’s quite the norm. This one was founded in part to show that not all Irish (or Irish Americans) are that way.

Fan of dough boy park

If anyone wants to see/hear a rather funny point of view about the whole situation, just google “Norm McDonald” and his ” gay parade ” Riff. I think around is 1999. Pretty funny stuff.

Kieran the Irish leprechaun lucky charms

F the ssp. Now they want to take away freedom of speech from the comments we make because they are “mean spirited ” who is to say whats mean spirited. Truth hurts dont it? I have the right to say what i want.


quick civics lesson:

the first amendment,

(Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances)

limits the government from prohibiting political speech. it says nothing about what a private company/individual can or can’t do. the sunnyside post is not the government and can allow or not allow what ever they like on their own publication/website.

your rights to free speech are not being trampled whatsoever.

– cheers


Is it just a coincidence that this so called St. Patrick’s parade starts at Queen of Angels and ends at St. Sebastians?.One year the grand marshall was a transvestite and this year the Catholic bashing Phil Donahue…This parade has nothing to do with honoring a saint but rather promoting some twisted agenda..The deviates come out in force and our creep of a mayor never misses a chance to march…More neighborhood residents would actually enjoy the parade if it was moved to Greenpoint ave and celebrated on Halloween..It is after all nothing but creep show!!


I agree st pats is another excuse for irish to get drunk and act like jerks. Its like a license to annoying and drunk for a day and the cops look the other way. A disgrace to the good irish people

Fan of Dough boy park

Phil ? Was Morton Downey Jr. not taking people’s phone calls? WTF? Next year is it Ricki Lake?

Juan julio

Good the irish should be deported if they dont belong here. They live 15 in an apartment. No better than squatters.

trump day this monday, yeah

I went to see mr donahue way back in the 80s, went to his talk show and he (being the good guy he is) insisted on shaking hands with everyone in the audience on their way out.

i remember his handshake was limp like spaghetti.

Im assuming this was because he did this handshake marathon every day with his audience and wasnt into it. If you shake his hand lemme know how it is!

Matt Cassity

I always regret reading the comments on this site. Sunnyside is such a great neighborhood — I only hope anyone that visits this site doesn’t equate the mean-spirited trolls in the comments with the rest of the neighborhood.

Frankly, I am not sure why these anonymous comments are even allowed, they’re almost always inflammatory, and rarely helpful. I suspect the proprietor of Sunnyside Post agrees with them, or thinks it will garner him more ad sales.

Either way, I’m going to reach out to the businesses that advertise here and see if they want to be associated with the nasty-ness that goes on in these comment sections.

Hillary is still not president

Admit it. You’re a liberal snowflake who can’t tolerate opposing viewpoints or conservative opinions. Free speech for me, not for thee.

I’ll let you get back to your safe space now with your coloring books and crayons.


I’m not sure if the person who says “Puerto Ricans are equal opportunity muggers” represents a point of view that should be taken seriously or debated or respected. The pushback from the LGBT community would not be so vocal if those who wanted them banned had just followed Christian teachings more closely. But that would take a true Christian and that’s not an easy thing to be.

g. king

Asshat the Irish have always been deported quietly with constant raids on Irish bars especially in the 80″S and there was no publicity for them unlike the Hispanics or muslims. But now everything has to be PC.. As for this parade it is a joke and does not represent anything to do with the Feast of St. Patrick. Just another stunt for big mouth minorities.

Juan julio

Oh great, first its straight drunks, now its lgbt and straight drunks. Outlaw st pats day. If it was Puerto rican day and we acted like this it would be outlawed. Trump needs to deport illegal irish immigrants too , not just mexicans and muslims.

Sheamus San Patricio Murphy

Ah, easy now, Don Juan-a-be! Show some love! Ya can’t deport Puerto Ricans and you’d miss the Irish and Mexicans anyway! Immigrants play a greater role of holding Queens together than any other community in the United States. Look it up! Its not Julio know, it’s what ya know! Love your fellow man and woman! It’s a smaller world than you think!


puertorcians sold your country for green cards, this why anybody with an education would recognize your country as independent nation


People born in Puerto Rico are US citizens. They do not need green cards and can migrate freely to any area of the US.


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