Image source: St. Pat’s For All Facebook page
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan, which draws millions of spectators and marchers annually, has never allowed LGBT groups to march, citing religious reasons. This outdated rule has been protested over the past 20 years by plenty of activists, Irish New Yorkers and political figures such as Christine Quinn, and even the former Irish president.
One activist who advocated for LGBT inclusion in the parade, Brendan Fay, decided to start an alternative St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2000. The event is called St. Pat’s for All and takes place in Sunnyside and Woodside every year.
The fun neighborhood parade attracts a smaller crowd, but more accurately reflects the diversity of Queens and all of NYC. It typically includes a range of cultural groups, from Irish to Tibetan to Mexican, and organizations such as The Keltic Dreams, a group of young Irish step dancers from the Bronx; Dignity/New York, an LGBT Catholic group; The Skillman Project, a local group of small businesses; Girl Scout troops; the Irish Arts Center; and SUDS, a Sunnyside dog group.
The 2013 parade is at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 3. It starts at 47th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, goes east on Skillman, and ends at 58th Street and Woodside Avenue in Woodside. The post-parade party will take place at Saints & Sinners in Woodside (GMAP).
This Friday, March 1, a benefit concert will be held at the Irish Arts Center in Midtown Manhattan, to help parade organizers continue to run this annual celebration.
Sunnyside gears up to celebrate ‘St Pat’s for All’ [Sunnyside Post]