2018-03-07 / Front Page

St. Pat’s For All!

BY THOMAS COGAN


View of the 19th Annual St. Pat’s For All parade marching down Skillman Avenue. 
Photo Walter Karling View of the 19th Annual St. Pat’s For All parade marching down Skillman Avenue. Photo Walter Karling March 3 was cold but not rainy, a good day for the 19th St. Pat’s for All parade in Sunnyside and Woodside.

Though heavily overcast at the start of the march, there was no threat of precipitation, and before it was over the sun was out. The familiar faces of elected officials were seen and a few new faces appeared too. The FDNY started the parade making its way up Skillman Avenue. After some alterations over the years, the parade route seems fixed now, launching at 43rd Street and proceeding up Skillman to 56th Street, with a short march to Woodside Avenue, where after two blocks it came to an end.

March 3 was cold but not rainy, a good day for the 19th St. Pat’s for All parade in Sunnyside and Woodside.

Though heavily overcast at the start of the march, there was no threat of precipitation, and before it was over the sun was out. The familiar faces of elected officials were seen and a few new faces appeared too. The FDNY started the parade making its way up Skillman Avenue. After some alterations over the years, the parade route seems fixed now, launching at 43rd Street and proceeding up Skillman to 56th Street, with a short march to Woodside Avenue, where after two blocks it came to an end.


US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand greets the paradegoers from the rostrum as (l. to r.); NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Congress Member Joe Crowley, Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Council Member Daniel Dromm look on. 
Photos Walter Karling US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand greets the paradegoers from the rostrum as (l. to r.); NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Congress Member Joe Crowley, Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Council Member Daniel Dromm look on. Photos Walter Karling Before the march was the oratory, beginning with a surprise opener, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who was followed by Council Member Danny Dromm, Congress Member Joseph Crowley and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

City Council Speaker Cory Johnson announced himself as half Irish, half Korean and all gay and could be heard far down 43rd Street.


Congress Member Joe Crowley and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. Congress Member Joe Crowley and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The Grand Marshals of the parade were announced: Dan Barry of The New York Times and Kathleen Sullivan, who promotes nuclear disarmament for the United Nations. The city’s Public Advocate Letitia James, said, “Today my name is Letitia Jameson.”

NYS Senator Michael Gianaris and Council Member Barry Grodenchik were also present.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced, “Let the parade begin!”

Brendan Fay, who created the parade that has run each year since 2000, again honored the Choctaws who befriended those refugees of the blight in Ireland when they arrived in America in the mid- 19th century, then remembered some of the veteran St. Pat’s marchers who have marched their last, having passed way.


Parade co-founder Brendan Fay with co-Grand marshal Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. Parade co-founder Brendan Fay with co-Grand marshal Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. The ending of the parade, at a 108th Precinct police barrier at Woodside and 58th Street, is a celebratory situation as all the musical groups come in and give their music a rousing wind-up. Brian Fleming and the St. Pat’s for All Stars rode the sound truck, but all the others marched, including the County Cork Fife & Drum Corps, and the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band. A line of young, evidently Mexican musicians arrived, playing Mexican music and singing in Spanish. The spectators, rightly all-inclusive, gave them loud applause.

Then there’s the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, with more members than it used to have. The players got to the end of the march and their playing, then answered a request to repeat one of their numbers, an anarchistic thing that includes the chant, “Stop the deportations; no borders, no nations,” which had Brendan Fay cheering enthusiastically.


Parade Grand Marshals Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dan Barry and educator Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. Parade Grand Marshals Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dan Barry and educator Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. The original reason for the St. Pat’s Parade, a protest against the refusal by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s elders to allow a gay group to participate in the gigantic March 17 parade, seems to have faded and the small march in Sunnyside and Woodside on the first Sunday every March is its own excuse for being. Next year’s parade will be the 20th Anniversary and for that reason may be more festive than ever



Festively-clad parade marchers Jim Burke and Oscar Estaban Festively-clad parade marchers Jim Burke and Oscar Estaban

Carriage horse wearing the green—hooves included. Carriage horse wearing the green—hooves included.

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