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Sunnyside Gears Up to Celebrate ‘St Pat’s For All’

St Pats For All Parade 2020. Image: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post

Feb. 18, 2015 By Christian Murray

The 16th annual Sunnyside/Woodside ‘St. Pat’s for All’ parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 1—and will feature puppets, stilt walkers and plenty of Irish music.

The St. Pat’s For All parade is arguably this neighborhood’s most popular event. When it began 16 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 parade draws plenty of seniors, children, minorities, to even the local dog group–Sunnyside United Dog Society.

“We are the opening act for all the parades around the city that celebrate the fun and festivities of Ireland,” said Brendan Fay, a gay Irishman and co-chair of the event. The event, he said, always takes place on the first Sunday in March.

Fay said he is expecting more than 2,000 people to participate this year. 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 to the St Pat’s for All website and register.

The event this year will begin at Skillman Avenue and 43rd Street and will end at 56th and Skillman. Music and speeches will begin at 1 pm, with the parade kicking off at 2pm.

The parade will feature many of the same groups that have been coming for years—such as the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club, the girl scouts, Swim Strong, The Red Cross, and Sunnyside Community Services. This year, five marching bands have already signed up as well as several Irish musicians.

Several well-known gay groups, such as Dignity NY, Lavender and Green Alliance (an Irish LGBT group), Stonewall Democrats of NYC and the Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee are expected to march.

This year’s parade comes at a time when the Fifth Avenue parade is allowing one gay group to march– under the banner of the gay NBCUniversal employees. However, none of the Irish gay groups are permitted to march and gay activists will be protesting the event again this year.

Fay, however, said that the Sunnyside-Woodside event would carry on even if gay groups were allowed to participate in the Fifth Avenue parade.

“When it was announced that one gay group was allowed, I was asked what would happen to the our parade if it [the Fifth Avenue parade] were open to all gay groups,” Fay said.

He said the Sunnyside/Woodside event would continue.

Fay said that the parade is no longer a gay event but a community event, where all sorts of groups participate.

“This parade is special,” Fay said. “Sunnyside and Woodside have increasingly embraced the parade as their own– and different groups continue to want to participate.”

He said local businesses—such as bars and restaurants–have got behind the event.

Ten bars and restaurants known as Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars are hosting a joint Irish music festival, where Irish bands will play at their respective pubs after the parade.

Meanwhile, several bars/restaurants on Skillman Avenue are expected to be offering specials.

For Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, the other co-chair of the event, the parade is also about embracing immigrant groups and other cultures.

There will be groups representing Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania—and several Jackson-Heights-based Muslim centers, D’Arcy said.

This year’s two grand marshals are Kerry Kennedy, who is the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and Brian F. O’Byrne, a well-known Broadway and movie actor.

Fay said that the St. Pat’s For All parade has become a model for parades around the country—where various ethnic groups are celebrated and where there is inclusion of LGBT groups.

However, the No. 7 train will not be running between Times Square and 74th Street on the weekend of the event.

Fay said that they have reached out to the MTA to see whether its construction schedule can change on the day of the event. They have not heard back from the MTA.

Details:

Date: Sunday, March 1

Time: speeches at 1pm, parade kicks off at 2 pm

Begins: Corner of Skillman Ave. and 43rd Street

St-Pats

 

 

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21 Comments

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Sunnysider

Use this parade to tell Democrats we don’t want Di Blasio and Katz’s Sunnyside Yard development. It’s the one time this year any of them will actually come to the neighborhood they’re talking about tearing apart.

Reply
Givemeliberty

KERRY KENNEDY of THE Kennedy family? A bunch of disgraces! She fits in with Warren Wilhelm Deblasio and the other miscreants. This parade remains a big joke. Oh, and she was also married to Andrew Cuomo. There will be lots of politicians to boo, for sure!

Reply
Luvu2

Kerry Kennedy ? The ex wife of Andrew cuomo drove under the influence of ambien and got away with it . Another disgrace

Reply
Johnny

Danny Dromm is a disgrace for leading the charge on Warren Wilhelm’s behalf to put Irish people out of work, These are just two more bought and well payed for politicians by real estate mogul Steve Nislick, Dromm is all over this Land Grab and is just a puppet doing the mayors bidding, expect the same kind of trading when it comes time to seize the Sunnyside Yards land, It is an outrage that bandits like Dromm and Wilhelm have hijacked the Democratic party and process, Special Interest groups like NY CLASS should not be buying and running our city, DANNY DROMM IS A BUM.

Reply
Borderline Wacko

7 Train Delay’s.

I believe you just have to hit the return key to get all the space you need.

Hit key twice.

Hit key three times.

And so on.

Reply
Sunnysideposthatesme17

I believe the 7 train is purposely put out of commission to keep manhattan from getting flooded with people from Queens.

Reply
Seth

Ah!!! ?At last it’s that time of the year again when the carnival comes to Sunnyside disguised as a St . Patrick’s celebration. ..Can’t this parade be postponed to October 31?..How about sometime in June?..I mean after all it’s nothing more than a celebration of gay pride..Wouldn’t a circus like atmosphere of deviates be more appropriate when celebrating Halloween?

Reply
Mr. Skillman Says

It’s the one day of the year where you get to stay inside and grumble over your breakfast cereal without feeling like you’re wasting your life. Why change it?

Reply
Casey

Let’s hope the sanitation department has some strong disinfectant to put on the streets afterwards.

Reply
Shout it out protesters.

Now is the time to be heard if you reject the Mayor’s proposal about the train yard development.
Perfect opportunity to make your opinions heard.
Maybe everyone walks towards DiBlasio like Zombies with your petitions in your hands.

Reply
7TrainDelays

It’s wonderful that Sunnyside has a parade that welcomes gay organizations to march openly. It’s also wonderful that there is a parade in Manhattan where people with more traditional, religious views can put on a parade in accordance with their particular beliefs.

I don’t walk into a kosher deli and throw a tantrum when they can’t serve me a ham sandwich. I just walk across the street to the deli that does serve non-kosher food. Problem solved.

Tolerance should be a two way street. People who like to preach tolerance should also practice it.

And one last thought: if the Manhattan parade had accepted gay groups, Sunnyside wouldn’t have this fabulous parade brining so many people and so much business into the neighborhood.

Reply
Oil Beef Hooked

“However, the No. 7 train will not be running between Times Square and 74th Street on the weekend of the event.”

Unlucky 7.

If the weather doesn’t stop people from attending, the MTA will.

Reply
OldenDays

on the bright side, since no one can leave Sunnyside, they’ll have a captive audience. I for one will be at all the trad sessions that day

Reply
Oil Beef Hooked

Even if they can’t leave Sunnyside, they still have the option of staying in their homes.

Reply
frozen

If it’s two weeks before the big one on 5th avenue. why not two weeks after?. I go down to skillman to watch it each year and feel sorry for those young kids from the irish dancing school wearing outfits that are not suitable for the near arctic condition’s. can’t see any good reason for not doing it 4 weeks later when spring has arrived.

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