The streets of Sunnyside, Queens, turned green and rainbow-colored for the 25th-annual St. Pat's for All Parade, which took place amid glorious sunshine on Sunday afternoon, March 3.

Marching bands, dance troupes, community groups, sports teams, and a number of elected officials from both sides of the Atlantic took part in the parade on Skillman Avenue. 

Thousands of people lined Skillman Avenue for the 2024 St. Pat's for All Parade, which featured hundreds of participants and dozens of participating groups. 

US Congress Woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Irish Consul-General Helena Nolan, Jerry Buttimer, Chair of the Irish Seanad, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards were among the high-profile politicians to take part in the parade. 

Dennis Brownlee, the founder of the African American Irish Diaspora Network, and Northern Irish actress Geraldine Hughes served as Grand Marshals of the 2024 parade. 

Roisin Wiley, the 2023 Rose of Tralee, attended the parade as a special guest. 

The St. Pat's for All Parade was founded in 2000 as a protest against the exclusion of LGBT groups from the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan and as a celebration of the Irish LGBT community in New York. 

LGBT groups can now freely take part in the Manhattan parade and will be able to march in the controversial Staten Island parade later this month, but organizers said St. Pat's for All still serves a hugely important function, promoting human rights causes, celebrating the LGBT community, and promoting Irish culture in New York. 

Danny Dromm, an Irish American former New York City Council member who helped found St. Pat's for All, noted how much the parade has grown over the past 25 years and said it was a celebration of the Irish community in Queens. 

"It's absolutely amazing to me because I remember 25 years ago when the streets were hardly filled at all. Today, they're filled and the parade is so long. It just shows a growing acceptance of the LGBT community, but it's also a celebration of the Irish community," Dromm told IrishCentral. 

Meanwhile, Buttimer said the parade showed the progress that has been made on LGBT rights in Ireland and in New York.

Buttimer, who is openly gay, said he could have lost his job over his sexuality 25 years ago but noted that Ireland now has a gay Taoiseach and two gay cabinet members. 

"We must always remember, this parade was born out of people not being accepted," Buttimer told IrishCentral. "And that was the way it was for Irish people at home, who left Ireland. Friends and colleagues of mine left Ireland because they weren't free to be who they were." 

Although the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade now welcomes LGBT communities, Buttimer said St. Pat's for All still serves an important function, highlighting issues such as the struggle for trans rights and the plight of the people in Gaza. 

Ocasio-Cortez addressed the crowd before Sunday's parade and called for a ceasefire in the conflict, while sporadic chants of "ceasefire now" were heard throughout the day. 

A number of groups also carried banners calling for peace in Gaza. 

"This parade a celebration," Buttimer said. "But at the same time, it's also giving people an opportunity to have a voice.

"It is an example of how diversity can be embraced and inclusivity where we can walk in the middle of the road. to bring people with us."