I met a dog at a parade on Sunday, a dog named Spike. That’s Spike in the shot above. He’s Irish, apparently.
The parade was the St. Pat’s Day For All event, held in Sunnyside. For those of us who live anywhere nearby, it signals that Spring is on the way, and it’s a “do not miss it” kind of thing. The shots in this post are selected from a much larger set of better than a hundred shots, which I’ve made available over at Flickr. If you or your group marched in the St. Pat’s Day for All parade, there might be a shot of you in there.
Click here for a slideshow (opens in a new window) of everything and everyone that caught my eye.
The parade is predicated on inclusivity, and its organizers opine that everyone can be Irish on St. Pat’s.
From their website:
The St. Pat’s for All parade celebrates the diversity of the Irish and Irish American communities of New York. First held in 2000, St.Pat’s for All cherishes and celebrates an inclusive St. Patrick’s season. Ours is the first in the 260 years + of Irish parades in New York City to be open and welcoming to all who wish to share in the spirit of the day. We err on the side of hospitality. Our theme “cherishing all the children of the nation equally” is taken from the 1916 Easter Proclamation of the Irish Republic. It is a vision drawn from our past and a guide for our present & future.
See tons of photos of the event right after the jump…
I ran into NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer while the parade was just getting warmed up. Sunnyside is his home district, and is actually where his home is.
Even without a parade, Sunnyside can be a colorful place, but with…
Another dog I met, whose name I didn’t catch. This girl did not like the idea of wearing a scarf.
This is Brendan Fay, who is one of the motive forces behind this parade, which is now in it’s fifteenth year.
A dance troop of kids from the Bronx, who have flawlessly learned traditional Irish dance moves, started the ceremonial part of the event.
The Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers, are a group of 33 children ages 7-12 from Public School 59, PS 59 in the Bronx, NY. The school is situated in a low Socio Economic area in the Bronx and has a 95% poverty rate. The students are all African American and Hispanic and have no background in Irish culture. Hired by the Department of Education, I, Caroline Duggan, moved to New York over 4 years ago and began teaching music in the school. I had no intention of staying more than one year in the school but fell in love with the children’s drive to become professional. After being constantly asked by the children why I spoke funny I told them that I was from Ireland. The fascination began with questions about the Irish lifestyle, leprechauns and Irish dance. They questioned me about a huge photo of Riverdance I had hanging in the classroom. I showed the children a few steps and was truly amazed by how quick they grasped even the most complicated steps. They were fascinated with the Riverdance video from Radio City, which I still show them on a regular basis. Especially how the show incorporated different cultures into Irish dancing. With this idea in mind and with the amazing support of the principal and school, I began an Irish dancing program after school twice a week. The group The Keltic Dreams was born and have since had their own one hour show on The Plaza at Lincoln Center, in the Bronx Botanical Garden for Bronx week , St Barnabas Nursing Home, on the Band shell at Central Park, at Lehman College in the Bronx and in The Manhattan Mall at Herald Square NYC. They were the sole performers at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens for Mayor Bloomberg and afterwards all the students marched in the parade joined by their parents. The Irish dance program has encouraged huge parental involvement, bringing the whole community together!!!! Much to my surprise some of the children had never been to Manhattan before they performed in these shows!!
There was another group that danced as well, but I was unable to get many decent shots of them.
This group, however, I’ve photographed before. I was ready for the jumping and the hair this time.
Speeches started, with former State Senator Tom Duane leading off.
Irish personality and activist Panti was present and offered remarks as well. There were also representatives of the Irish Republic on hand.
The crowd really started to fill out, as everyone was expecting a certain someone to arrive.
Michael Gianaris came over from Astoria to greet the crowd and show his support.
Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President, was present and accounted for.
Then the fellow everyone was waiting for showed up, Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
The elected’s started the walking part of the event, heading up Skillman Avenue towards Roosevelt Avenue, taking the crowd of press photographers and political aides with them.
Once all the “pro’s” headed east, the real parade got started. All of Sunnyside started following the fiddler.
The kids were having a grand old time, it seemed. Lots to see and a cool buzz in the air. Spring seems to be just around the corner!
Spike too, enjoyed the day, and was last seen bringing up the rear with his pals in S.U.D.S. – the Sunnyside United Dog Society.
For the full set of shots, click here.
Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.