New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and a host of prominent New York politicians are confirmed to march in the 16th annual Sunnyside Woodside St. Pat’s for All Parade on Sunday, March 1.
Led by community youth groups and the FDNY EMS Pipes and Drums band, the parade will step off at 2 p.m. from 43rd Street to 56th Street on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside.
Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and Tony Award winning actor Brian F. O’Byrne are this year’s grand marshals, selected for their contributions to human rights and the arts.
“I am honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with Kerry Kennedy,” O’Byrne said in a statement, “and I am thrilled to be walking with the inclusive St. Pat’s for All parade. I am proud to have participated for several years in protests against parades that discriminate.”
De Blasio, who marched in the St. Pat’s for All Parade last year, is widely expected to skip the main Fifth Avenue parade over its continuing ban on Irish gay groups marching with their own banner.
De Blasio will be joined on Sunday by Congressman Joe Crowley, Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and New York City Council members Daniel Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer, Elizabeth Crowley, Corey Johnston, Costa Constantinides and New York State Senator Jose Peralta. Irish Consul General Barbara Jones will represent the Irish government.
Leaders in Ireland and New York have praised the unique grassroots parade. In a statement President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins thanked St. Pat’s for All for its inclusive spirit and theme of human rights.
The 7 train from the city is expected to be suspended on the day of the march so participants are advised to take the N or Q train to Queensboro Plaza and take a connecting bus to the parade route.