You are reading

St. Pats for All Parade to Return as in-Person Event on March 6

The 2020 St Pats For All Parade (Photo: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post)

Feb 27, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

The St. Pats For All Parade is coming back as an in-person event this year.

Dozens of groups have registered to march for what is Sunnyside and Woodside’s largest annual event. The parade was replaced with a virtual celebration last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Several Irish cultural groups, LGBT organizations, music groups and a multitude of marching bands are expected to take to Skillman Avenue and be cheered on by adults and children decked out in emerald green.

The parade will follow its traditional route beginning at Skillman Avenue and 43rd Street before finishing at 58th Street and Woodside Avenue.

Music and speeches will begin at noon with the parade kicking off at 1 p.m.

The parade was initially organized as an LGBT-inspired event after a group of Irish men and women were not permitted to march in the 1999 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Ave under a gay banner.

The Sunnyside event has since evolved to be considered more of a community-driven celebration with a large cross-section of the neighborhood participating. A number of high-profile politicians spoke at the event in 2020 including former Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Senator Charles Schumer as well as Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney.

Irish dancers at the St. Pats for All Parade in 2020 (Photo: St. Pats for All)

Brendan Fay, a community activist who founded the parade, has stepped down from his role as co-chair of the event.

Fay, an Irish immigrant, founded the event in the year 2000 after being arrested several times while trying to march with a gay rights group at the Fifth Avenue parade in the 1990s. He then worked with activists to establish the Sunnyside/Woodside event.

Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy is the new chair of the parade having served as co-chair alongside Fay for the last 15 years.

Walsh D’Arcy said she can’t wait to see marchers returning to the streets of Sunnyside and Woodside.

“It’s very exciting and everyone is looking forward to greeting our friends and neighbors again.”

Walsh D’Arcy, however, said it will be a challenge to replicate the large attendance numbers seen in previous years, given the impact the pandemic has had on some residents.

“We are still hoping to have a big parade,” she said.

St Pats For All Parade 2020, County Cork Pipes and Drums. Image: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post

St. Pats For All Parade 2020, County Cork Pipes and Drums. Image: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post

The parade will be led by the FDNY bagpipe band and will feature several other marching bands including the County Cork Pipes and Drums as well as regulars such as the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, Girl Scouts of Sunnyside Woodside and the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club.

Walsh D’Arcy said that the Lavender and Green Alliance, an Irish LGBT group founded by Fay in the 1990s, will also take part. In 2016, it became the first group to march under a gay banner at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue.

Like previous years, a number of anti-war groups are also anticipated to march. Walsh D’Arcy expects a large number of participants to line up behind those groups this year given the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

St. Pats For All Parade 2020, Lavender and Green Alliance. Image: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post

Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez and State Senator Jessica Ramos have confirmed they will be at the event, Walsh D’Arcy said. She added that Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul – whose grandparents immigrated from Ireland – are likely to attend.

The parade is being dedicated to Tarlach MacNiallais, a Sunnyside resident who died from COVID-19 in 2020. MacNiallais, an Irish immigrant, had been an LGBTQ-rights and disability-rights activist.

He was also a long-time St Pats For All board member. The intersection at 43rd Avenue and 49th Street was co-named Tarlach MacNiallais Way in his honor in December.

Members of MacNiallais’ family will be the Grand Marshalls of the parade, Walsh D’Arcy said.

The weekend’s festivities will kick off on March 5 at the Irish Arts Center, with performances by local Irish musicians.

Groups interested in taking part in the St. Pats For All Parade can register by clicking here.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.