How It’s New York: The St. Pat’s for All Parade celebrates the diversity of NYC, among other things, including the Borough of Queens!
How It’s Irish: Brendan Fay, who started the Parade in 2000, is an Irish immigrant. He began the parade when the Ancient Order of Hibernians rejected LGBT marching under their own banners again and again.
How I love this parade– in its inclusiveness it represents the city I love, and it would not be if not for the Irish St. Patrick’s Day. It’s strange to remember that, as Brendan Fay told us on the February 26 week’s podcast, when he first came to NYC it was still a crime in Ireland to be gay (I interviewed Brendan for a piece on the Brokentalkers show Silver Stars for the New York Times a few years ago– a play about older gay men and their stories in Ireland).
Times have changed, and hearts have changed, and many Irish officials, including Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Speaker Christine Quinn, support the parade now– but the AOH still doesn’t allow LGBT to march under their own banners.
But this parade is not just an LGBT parade, it’s an all-inclusive parade. And it will be FUN! Brian Fleming, Niall O’Leary School of Dance, Caroline Duggan and Keltic Dreams Dancers, Mexican dancers, a Choctaw blessing, Korean drummers…. All it needs is a Jirish group and it would be perfect (and that is my new mission in life). The parade begins at 1 pm, but the party will go on all day!
Here’s some of what Brendan says on the St. Pat’s for All website:
Friends, A chairdeFailte! Welcome to our 13th annual St Pat’s for All website! Failte roimh go leir!Warmed by the hospitable community of Sunnyside and Woodside, we return each year to Skillman Avenue. We gather here to celebrate our shared heritage, Irish and Celtic. Whether in exile, fleeing famine, or pursuing dreams and hopes for liberty, equality and happiness, the Irish through the centuries have scattered across the globe, always enhancing the communities they join.Here in New York St Pats for All 2012 is a generous coming together of business, community groups, Unions, artists and musicians who for few hours turns the streets of Sunnyside and Woodside into “Ireland of the welcomes!” Hospitality is at the heart of this diverse and inclusive St. Patrick’s celebration which each year welcomes the diverse immigrants communities of Queens.Each year we pay special tribute to friends and family some who have died. This year we will pay tribute to the political historian and novelist Peter Quinn, author of the now-available Book: The Man Who Never Returned, and Mary Brosnahan. Executive Director of The Coalition for the Homeless,Annually, the parade is a result of months of meetings hosted by Sunnyside residents Patrick Langhenry and Raisa Wu.
Join us. Bring your wild and wonderful energy and color to the streets. Help liven and lighten our celebration and gathering. Help our parade sparkle!
Many Thanks, Mile Buiochas!,