She's everywhere! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the main attractions at this year's St Pat's for All Parade in Queens.
The St. Pat’s for All parade, now in its 20th year, assembled on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside on Sunday afternoon for the largest march in its two-decade history. Over 100 groups signed up to participate in an event that is now the largest held in Sunnyside each year.
But one participant on the day attracted the most media attention. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the 14th District of the Bronx and Queens, brought her rising political superstar aura to the dais before the parade stepped off.
Surrounded by a huge scrum of press photographers at every step, Ocasio-Cortez took the opportunity to twin the Irish parade with her own Green New Deal plan to address climate change and move America toward a sustainable future.
“The St. Pat's for All parade is one of the best parades in New York City,” Ocasio-Cortez told IrishCentral’s sister publication, the Irish Voice.
"It began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities here in Sunnyside and Woodside and since it was first launched by Council Member Danny Dromm and activist Brendan Fay it's become a core tradition of the New York 14th District."
Ocasio-Cortez shared the stage before the march with Irish Consul General Ciaran Madden, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Senator Michael Gianaris, New York City Council Member Danny Dromm and New York Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, who gave a short two-sentence speech on the day.
Author and former parade grand marshal Malachy McCourt even serenaded Ocasio-Cortez with a rendition of “Will Ye Go Lassie Go.”
Parade co-chairs Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy also delivered remarks in support of the diversity of the city, including support for LGBT rights and rights for immigrants, and an end to the indefinite detention of the undocumented.
Three giant street puppets wowed the crowds and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Lavender and Green Alliance and the life and legacy of LGBT activist Stanley Rigor, LGBT hero Oscar Wilde and lifelong activist and campaigner Eva Gore-Booth.
Grand marshals on the day were the stage and screen star Fionnula Flanagan and the famed performer and choreographer Sean Curran. Flanagan is currently starring in The Ferryman on Broadway and Curran is a renowned choreographer and director for opera and theater, as well as an award-winning original cast member of STOMP!
After the parade, Fox News reported that Ocasio-Cortez eventually left in a for-hire minivan, which they described as “gas guzzling” in an attempt to suggest that her environmental activism is hypocritical. But the “for-hire” minivan turned out to be a Chrysler that belongs to her aunt, and the representative took to Twitter later to gleefully mock the biased reporting.
I will have you know my tía was very upset that the ny post insulted her minivan
If they saw how many goldfish snacks were in this thing they’d say I was killing the ocean too https://t.co/shwIjsysMQ— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 4, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez also informed her 3.4 million Twitter followers: “One of the best parades in NYC: the St. Pat’s For All parade in Sunnyside, Queens! This parade began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Launched by @Dromm25+activist Brendan Fay, St. Pat’s for All is a core tradition in NY14.”
Founded in 1998 when the main St. Patrick's Day parade still excluded Irish LGBT groups from marching with their own banners, it has since become an annual tradition in the neighborhood, home to many Irish, even after the lifting of the ban in 2016.
You ran into one of the best parades in NYC: the St. Pat’s For All parade in Sunnyside, Queens!
This parade began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities.March 3, 2019
This year’s parade featured longstanding participants like the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, Queens Pride, the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club and several colorful marching bands with ample support from talented Irish musicians.
Groups representing Mexico, China, Korea, Puerto Rico, Turkey and more all marched beside Irish county associations and community organizations like the New York Irish Center, the former dazzling the crowds with their colorful costumes and reflecting the parade’s philosophy of welcoming all.
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