New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to issue a statement on the decision to include the Lavender and Green Alliance in next year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, but multiple sources who spoke to the Irish Voice fully expect the mayor to take part in the event for the first time.

The mayor’s office contacted Lavender and Green founder Brendan Fay last week to discuss the decision, and City Council Member Daniel Dromm of Queens says he “hopes the mayor marches, and I believe he will.”

“It was just a wonderful decision by the parade,” Dromm told the Irish Voice.

“Finally after 25 years, I feel included and validated. I have never marched before in the parade and I’m looking forward to it.”

The New York City Council has boycotted the march for several years due to the lack of an Irish gay group, but Dromm expects his colleagues out in force next March 17.

“I’m chair of the Irish caucus in the council and we are all excited,” Dromm said. “The LGBT caucus is also thrilled. It’s going to be a great day.”

Meanwhile, the Irish government has hailed parade leaders for including Lavender and Green. Speaking to the Irish Voice in New York last week, Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said the move sends a strong message of inclusivity.

“I want to warmly welcome the move, and I want to thank those involved in what has been a controversial and difficult issue over the years,” Flanagan said.

“The Irish government fully supports inclusivity in all our activities. In welcoming this news I say that I expect next year’s St. Patrick’s Day to be bigger and more positive and more inclusive than ever. It’s very good news.”