March 7, 2011 By Christian Murray
While the dark, damp day may have kept some spectators at home, the bagpipe players, Irish dancers and children’s groups were as colorful as ever.
This year was the 12th annual Sunnyside-Woodside “St Pat’s for All” parade and many of the traditional groups were out in force. There was the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, the Keltic Dream Dancers, several bagpipe brigades — to the well-known gay groups, such as Marriage Equality NY and Dignity USA.
This year there were also colorful puppets on display, more than in the past. Additionally, there were Mexican women and Chilean groups. The NAACP and Veteran’s groups were also represented.
The march began at 47th Street and Skillman Ave while the weather remained dry; however, many participants were saturated by the time they got to the end at 58th and Woodside Ave.
However, before the event even started many politicians had plenty to say – especially since the organizers of Staten Island’s St Patrick’s Day parade had just barred a gay group from marching.
Christine Quinn, the council speaker and gay Irish American, spoke about the inclusiveness of the Sunnyside-Woodside event. She said that one day gay New Yorkers will be able to march under their own banner on Fifth Ave and Staten Island too. She said the Skillman Ave. parade “sends a message that there is a place where all people no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation can march.”
The St. Pat’s for All parade was established more than a decade ago, when Brendan Fay, the co-chairman of the event, was not allowed to march on Fifth Ave. In response, he established the Sunnyside-Woodside parade.
Quinn, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Comptroller John Liu all spoke about how they did not participate in the Staten Island event because the gay group was not permitted.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed everyone to the event and was generally well received.
Very few Irish groups participate in this fake St. Pat’s Day parade. That the organizers have to import Hispanic groups and other ethnic groups, and whatever, shows how little the neighborhood thinks of this parade. Why doesn’t Brendan Faye, since he “cherishes all the children”, hold this parade in Astoria, where he lives? I guess the suckers are in Sunnyside.
But Lord, You did tell people to “sin no more”. I believe that refers to activity. And I think you put in a commandment, “Tell phony politicians to stop whining about the Staten Island parade on tv because nobody really cares what you do.”
It’s not a sin to be gay, raquel, otherwise I wouldn’t create gay people.
St. Pat and “Lord”: you have the Halloween parade; now you have the Sunnyside fake St. Pat’s Day Parade; you have gay pride parade in June; do you want Thanksgiving also? And by the way, “Lord”, I believe You said: “Go and sin no more.”
You’re correct, Patrick. Thanks for your good work in pointing out what should be obvious to intelligent folks. You’d think that since I gave even bigots perfectly functioning brains to start with that they’d bother to use them, and remember all those things my son said about love and tolerance, but, hey, I guess they think they know better.
You say the parade is not about the neighborhood, but if you think there are (a) no Irish people, (b) no gay people, or (c) no gay Irish people in Sunnyside, then you are dead wrong.
You are not the only one who lives here.
Yes, it is called “saving souls”, something our sell-out politicans would know nothing about since they “care” about our neighborhood only when an election is at hand or when they can prove one of their silly liberal talking points.
@ Welch I believe it’s called the Gospel.
Sure, and no one would ever accuse Catholic churches of having an agenda.
People are upset because this is a “parade” with an agenda. Notice that the local Catholic churches have nothing to do with this parade.
We all know the reson for the parade. Why cannot we enjoy the parade for what it is than complaning every years that we are being diescriinated against all the time and enjoy being irish for the day and the week. Maybe we should have some irish contest before the parade to mke it more interested instead of standing and wiating for the pardade to get started. the kids danding is great how about some face painting, some tables set up selling some irish ware. Lets do something dirrerent for next years. What does everyone else think of this idea?
Oh dear. Here I thought I witnessed an enjoyable event to kick off the spring season and bring the community together, but now I realize I fell victim to some crazy liberal propaganda! The Girl Scouts and bagpipers were a clever disguise! (Eye roll … )
what is with all these negative coments? the saint patrick’s day parade has been a fixture for over 200 years in the city. why can’t we live and let live. if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.
This is a family event. I don’t understand why people get so upset.
I think H is right – this parade has nothing to do with St. Pat’s – it is a gay marriage parade. It was a chance, however, to boo the awful mayor who ignored the snowstorm. Always fun to boo Chrissy Quinn who thinks she is going to be the next mayor. There are more people in the parade than on the sidewalks watching! I like St. Pat’s day because I am partial to green!
I agree with Conrad completely.
I don’t know anyone, Catholic or not, who thinks of St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday. It is more an excuse to wear green, drink (hopefully responsibly!), and celebrate Irish culture with friends and family.
If you wish to celebrate it religously, then by all means do! I prefer my St. Patrick’s Day celebrating with friends!
March 17th was last weekend?
I am glad there is some activity in Sunnyside, but if you ask this lady or the old dude who spoke on camera where is sunnyside in any other given day, they would not even know about it. It is all politics and the moment I see mayor or any other political figure/speech, I prefer to skip it altogether.
You want parade? Call it Sunnyside Parade and let’s do this properly on the blvd once a year. They can use skillman to drive with no parking and it is enough to take care of blvd traffic from 48th to 33rd.
When has any St. Patrick’s Day parade or celebration had ANYTHING to do with St. Patrick? Was there some parade where they were chasing snakes of which I’m unaware? So little fact is actually known about St. Patrick that it’s a given that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations virtually are “Irish Day” celebrations.
As for the gay activist thing, if other parades weren’t unfairly exclusionary, they’d have no reason to protest.
I’m not into parades myself, but Jesus you people just like complaining. Everyone was out having fun, despite the weather. Lighten up.
I hate this parade and the pandering politicos. Quinn is a disgrace who sponsored a bill to stifle the free speech of crisis pregnancy centers which help poor women. She is a far Left loon. I am glad that Staten Island banned these troublemakers.
I believe you. And that’s a shame.
Maybe the Saint Patrick’s Day parades should be renamed the Irish Day Parade or the Pink Shamrock parade or something similar. Just using the name of a saint and using it to promote things in direct conflict with the religion of that saint is highly disrespectful.
Ha! I’ve never seen a St. Patrick’s Day parade that had anything to do with Patrick himself.
This parade has little to do with Saint Patrick and far more to do with gay activism. In this video all I heard about Staten Island Pride, Christine Quinn and liberal talking points, not a word about Saint Patrick.
Let’s face it, the focus of this parade is gay politics. Saint Patrick comes in a distant second.