You are reading

Big Plans for Virtual ‘St Pats for All Parade,’ as Covid Forces Celebrations Online

St Pats For All Parade 2020. (Image: Michael Dorgan, Sunnyside Post)

March 4, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

The annual St Pats for All Parade will take place virtually Sunday, a marked contrast to last year’s event that saw a record number of participants march through the streets of Sunnyside and Woodside.

The parade – which celebrates Ireland through a theme of inclusivity and diversity – is now in its 22nd year and organizers have been forced to host the event online due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

The virtual event will kick off at 2 p.m. and will last around two hours.

The event will consist of a program of pre-recorded music and dance performances from artists based in New York City and Ireland followed by messages from elected officials such as Council Member Danny Dromm and Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

A short movie about Sunnyside resident Tarlach MacNiallais, who died from COVID-19 last year, will also be shown. MacNiallais, an Irish immigrant, had been an LGBTQ-rights and disability-rights activist and the event is being dedicated to his memory.

The final hour of the event will consist of an open live music session played by a variety of participants from around the world.

Brendan Fay, the founder of the parade, said it is disappointing but understandable that people cannot march with their banners and Irish regalia this year. He noted that last year’s event was one of the last major community gatherings before the city went into lockdown with more than 120 groups taking part.

However, Fay said that the upside to a virtual offering means the parade can now be enjoyed by a wider audience from across the globe.

“The parade must go on and we are very proud that it will,” Fay said.

“While we will miss the marching and rolling up Skillman Avenue, St Pat’s for All 2021 will bring us together at a virtual crossroads in a joyful, transatlantic celebration of welcome, remembering and solidarity.”

The parade was founded by Fay and other gay activists who were excluded from marching under a gay banner in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in the 1990s. Fay, along with others, then decided to establish a parade “For All” in Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside/Woodside event has grown in size and stature over the last two decades and is now considered more of a community-driven celebration of culture and diversity. Last year a number of high-profile politicians spoke at the event including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Senator Charles Schumer as well as Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney.

Fay said that the parade has also grown – in part – due to the support of local bars, which have hosted Irish music events each year following the parade. He is urging residents to support them in their hour of need, given the economic fallout of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

While the tunes will not ring out from local bars this Sunday, Fay said that there is an impressive line-up of Irish music on offer at the virtual event from renowned musicians such as Brian Fleming, Mick Moloney, David Amram and singer Liz Hanley.

There will also be dance performances from members of the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance as well as a poem by players from the Queens-based Shannon Gaels Irish football club who are collaborating with students in Ireland.

The parade will be streamed via the St. Pat’s for All website and on YouTube.

For more information on the event click here.

Watch Fay after last year’s parade below.

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

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.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Man dies in East Elmhurst house fire that left 10 others injured: FDNY

A man was killed in a fire that broke out inside an East Elmhurst home that also left 10 others injured late Friday night, according to the FDNY.

The FDNY received a call regarding the two-alarm fire that broke out just after 11 p.m. in a three-story residential home at 24-37 89th St. on Friday, Jan. 20. FDNY sent 25 units consisting of 106 firefighters and EMS workers to the scene. Additionally, officers from the 115th Precinct responded to the scene.