Feb. 20, 2013 By Christian Murray
The 14th annual Sunnyside/Woodside “St. Pat’s for All” parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 3—and will feature puppets, stilt walkers and plenty of Irish music.
The event will begin at the corner of 47th Street & Skillman Ave. and end at Woodside Ave. & 58th Street. The pre-parade speeches and entertainment will begin at 12:30pm, with the parade officially starting at 2pm.
The St. Pat’s For All parade is arguably this neighborhood’s most popular event. When it began 13 years ago, it was largely a 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 Ave under a gay banner.
Today, the Sunnyside/Woodside event has morphed into a major community event, where seniors, children, minorities, gay groups and a local dog organization participate.
“This parade is special,” said Brendan Fay, a gay Irishman who founded the event. “Sunnyside has increasingly embraced the parade as its own– and different groups continue to want to participate.”
Fay said he is expecting more than 1,500 people to participate. However, there could be more. He said that there is still time for community groups to sign up and that those interested just need to go onto the St Pat’s for All website and register.
This year the bars and restaurants in Sunnyside are getting behind the event.
Ten bars and restaurants on Queens Blvd—known as the Sunnyside’s Boulevard of Bars—are hosting a joint Irish music concert, where Irish bands will play at their respective pubs after the parade. The first bands are expected to start at about 3 pm–with the second group beginning in the early evening.
Meanwhile, the Skillman Project, which is comprised of several bars and restaurants on Skillman Ave., will participate by entering its own float in the parade and several of its member pubs will be holding post-parade events.
“Just when I was thinking…how can we grow the parade,” Fay said, “I discover the businesses are getting behind it. I am so heartened by this.”
The parade has drawn a range of performers and participants over the years. This year’s attendees will include the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club, the Keltic Dream Dancers (a group of about 35 children from the Bronx), Swim Strong, The Red Cross, and Sunnyside Community Services— to the local Sunnyside dog group, SUDS. Three marching bands have already signed up and several Irish musicians.
Several well-known gay groups, such as Dignity NY, Stonewall Democrats of NYC and the Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee are likely to march.
Meanwhile, there will be a range of ethnic groups represented. Participants from Mexico, Tibet and Bolivia are expected to dance or march.
This year Aidan Connolly and Pauline Turley, who both run the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan, will serve as grand marshals.
Fay said the Irish Arts Center, which was established 40 years ago, has made great strides in helping to preserve Irish culture. “They have helped pass on Irish history and culture in the city,” Fay said, adding that the center offers classes in Irish music, dance and language—in addition to Irish film and art exhibitions.
Fay said that there will be a moment prior to the parade to reflect on the passing of Rory Staunton, a 12-year-old Sunnysider who died from a Sepsis infection. The organizers will also recognize the history of organized labor.
I doubt St. Patrick was gay! Since we now have gay marriage in NY State, I don’t understand why this charade continues. I remember all the Free Mumia (the cop killer) signs and anti-Semitic and anti military signs also. This is a Far Left parade. You can just feel their “love” as they boo ladies praying the rosary. This parade is run by bullies and hypocrites. Disagree with them and watch the threats fly. As I have family in the military, I am particularly offended by them. But when the shoe is on the other foot, watch them scream and jump up and down. I remember the RUDY BULLIANI signs. And all the anti-George Bush garbage. But object to it and protest it – then you are the bigot! Shame on the organizers. Shame on them.
Why all the hate? St Patrick was’nt even Irish! The case can be made that the Irish hijacked the deeds of St Patrick to claim him as one of their own….why can’t “others” express themselves on this occasion. We need to be tolerant of each other….does anyone really know what orientation St Patrick was? The truth is we don’t…..
I do not see any homophobic comments. I think people are sick of this parade pretending to be “all inclusive” when it is really a gay parade in which people wear green.
Another post unjustly deleted by the admin.
The offensive remark? Telling Blisskrieg (who insulted everyone who didn’t get their high school diploma) that he is indeed an elitist and that you don’t in fact…need to be rich to be applied to the definition of the word.
Admin…you get your underwear in a bunch with my comments, yet, look at all the blatant racism and homophobic comments you allow. you are a hypocrite through and through. you run this site like a teenagers blog.
Thanks for calling me an elitist. Having attended public school, city college and worked numerous minimum wage jobs in my lifetime and always flown in tourist class, I sure don’t feel like a Rockefeller but thanks for the thumbs up anyway.
Comments did not disappoint. Thank you.
Blisskrieg you are an elitist. There are plenty of people who are unable to complete high school, whether its for health reasons or personal issues. I know one girl who had to hold down her family financially while her father got better.
your pretentious elitist attitude is the kind that I’ve been speaking out against. Those who have recently moved into sunnyside with their nose in the air, with this complex that because they have more they somehow worked for it more than others.
Fact remains, if you have a GED instead of getting a proper HS diploma, you have a history of being a quitter.
Through the years of controversy, it should be noted that Mr. Fay maintains laser like focus on the purpose of the parade, recognizing in this article that Sunnyside businesses are getting behind the parade. Yeah!
Bllisskrieg: You made a comment to another poster that implied a
GED diploma is inferior. There are many bright young people who have used the GED system to advance to college and beyond.
Behold Sunnyside post HERE are your RACISTS and HOMOPHOBES. here are the ones you should be attacking,
Where is your trigger happy delete button now? hypocrite !
Wow…what a bunch of discriminatory bigots we have living in Sunnyside? What is wrong with enjoying a parade for the sake of enjoying a parade? Children, gay people, dogs, mariachi dancers, Irish step dancers, it’s fun for all to attend. God bless the parents who take their children to the parade to have fun and understand what a melting pot is, along with diverse cultures. My Irish Catholic relatives have gone to see this many times and always enjoy it. They are not prejudiced. They are open minded people, live and let live kind of people.
People absolutely have the right to not like the parade. But the majority of these comments are about it being a “gay parade”. Come on!
BTW, ,there are hypocrites are on both sides of the political aisle.
But you know that.
Gays can march in the Fifth Avenue parade – they just can’t advertise that they are gay. In fact, why would you want to tell anybody about your sex life? People who don’t like the parade are not Archie Bunkers and are not bigots. They are tired of this “parade” being hijacked by Brendan Fay and his pals who live in another part of Queens. As for Catholics who are divorced, have a chat with the late Ted Kennedy – or Andrew Cuomo for that matter. Or do you have no problem with them because they are ultra liberal? And hypocrites to boot!
I’m not gay or anything ..but I think Unicorns KICK ASS
It’s interesting that some readers think that being gay should exclude one from marching in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. If adherence to the most stringent form of Catholic doctrine is required to participate, then it would be seem marchers who are divorced, use birth control, have had premarital sex, etc., should stay at home.
Wait a minute, where is everyone?
Again, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin has included gay and lesbian groups for many years. If the Irish parade has no problem, why does the Irish-American parade have one? Things have changed in Ireland. And here.
I moved from Sunnyside quite a few years ago, but miss it very much.
At least I think I miss it, until I see a hideous exchange like this and realize
that it’s still Archie Bunkerville. Disgraceful!
Why not call the st. Patrick’s day parade the, “organized crime parade that doesn’t allow homosexuals”?
Whoa. Hypnotoad > Baconator.
st pats!!! yeahhhhh!!!! green beer!!!! green bagels!!!!!
All praise and glory to the double patty baconator!
At least all those chunky dunkers with their dogs are getting a little exercise!
If there were a parade for an Islamic figure and a group called the Bacon Lovers wanted to march, do you think there’d be a problem? I think so.
Eliminate the religion association by use of St in the title, naming the parade Pat’s Parade for All, and most of the criticism of the parade is addressed. What’s so difficult to understand about that genius?
You wrote: “Firstly, that isn’t how to user a colon.”
Tell me, how do you “user” your colon?
Blisskrieg makes great points and gets attacked for grammar! Nice straw man. Why don’t they call this parade “The Gay Parade that Allows Straight People”? That would be more honest.
Which is worse, gays parading on Skillman Ave under the cover of a “St. Pat’s Day” parade or Sunnyside Native claiming the priest at Queen of Angels miraculously healing his dog at Sunday Mass? With the gays, mariachi band, and dogs barking and sniffing each others butts, there will be quite the display along Skillman Ave.!
A jack of all trades but a master of none. Firstly, that isn’t how to user a colon. Secondly, the overuse of “and” is very awkward to read–you’d have more success with a comma. Using a numeral figure here is incorrect as it’s context is a summation. Using 4th grade is correct, however it should be 4th-grade.
Oh wow this whole time i thought it was a gay parade.
Wrap your small head around this before tossing around your petty insults like a zoo monkey throwing its own feces at people: I’ve got a college degree and have studied in Europe and can speak 3 languages fluently. Nothing in your comments leads me to believe that you have advanced beyond 4th grade.
If you think that was the comment of a GED schmuck, that’s your problem.
Take it up with the event organizers or convince this site’s staff to not follow the AP Style Guide. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around this concept you may benefit from completing your GED.
“Gears up” should be changed to “gays up”. This is a gay pride parade. We already have the Halloween Parade and the gay pride parade in June. All the hard core radicals will show up to show their “support”. They might think about why there have been and will be counterdemonstrators, many of them holding rosary beads. They don’t like seeing a saint desecrated.
Blisskrieg knocks it out of the park again. Why is the Stonewall Group showing up if this is not a gay parade? This is not a Catholic or even an Irish event: it is a gay parade. If that is what people want, fine: but they should be honest about it and not try to hide behind St. Patrick.
Why do gay groups want to march in a parade that supports a faith that considers their lifestyle sinful? Why do they want to honour a saint of that church?
You don’t see conservative Catholic organizations trying to march in the gay pride parade, do you?
This is an attempt to trash Christianity, plain and simple.
For your information, the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin has included gay and lesbian groups for many years.
If it’s not an issue there, why is it an issue here? People are imagining an ‘Irish culture’ from 50 years ago, but things have changed in Ireland.
This parade came into being because of exclusion from the main St. Patrick’s Day parade. Someday there will no longer be 2 parades.
Blisskrieg is correct: and note: Brendan Fay I believe resides in Astoria. Why doesn’t he do his act there? And why doesn’t he schedule this for March 17th?
I agree. They need to come out of the closet.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
These comments are only going to get better.
This is a gay pride parade. Fine, but the organizers should be open about it and stop hiding behind a Catholic saint and/or Irish culture. This is also an opportunity for some crummy politicians, such as Quinn et al, who care not a whit about our neighborhood, to show up and pretend that they do. They will litter and leave.
Local Hamburglar wrote “it’s a title”
What the hell does that mean?
You got the title wrong.
If you enjoy this parade, by all means, go march in it or cheer them on. That concerns me not a whit. But let’s not fool ourselves. This parade is a local version of the Gay Pride Parade with a shamrock. It has absolutely nothing to do with a Catholic Saint named Patrick. They’re just using him to make a political statement.
@Hamburgler. Do you work for Subway? Are you saying the parade has no connection to the Saint’s day celebrated by the Irish, like the foot long has no connection to the ruler? If the parade has no connection to the Saint, then take the St out of the title and call it “Pat’s Day for All”. Otherwise, use the name of the Saint, Patrick.
Anybody who marches in this parade should leave the Catholic Church. This parade is about homosexuality and not Irish culture and tradition. The fact that gays march using St. Patrick’s name is a disgrace.
It’s a title.
By all means, let us all bow down before the all holy GLAAD reference style – or else!
Thank you ST, you are 1,000% correct. The Saint’s name is Patrick and not Pat.
Thanks for covering this event! I’m sure this was an unintended oversight, but FYI, “gays” is not the preferred way to refer to “gay people,” as it has historically been used as a slur.
Per the New York Times style guide: “Gay may refer to homosexual men or more generally to homosexual men and women. In specific references to women, lesbian is preferred. When the distinction is useful, write gay men and lesbians. Do not use gay as a singular noun. Gays, a plural noun, may be used only as a last resort, ordinarily in a hard-to-fit headline.”
It’s Saint Patrick’s, not “Saint Pat’s”.
Have some respect please.