Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York, has been named Grand Marshal of the 40th Annual Queens County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be held on March 7 in Rockaway Beach.
Cassidy leads the UFA, New York’s and the nation’s largest local firefighters’ union representing over 8,100 active and 14,000 retired New York City Firefighters. 2015 also marks the FDNY’s 150th anniversary.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be selected to lead the march for the 40th Annual Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Cassidy.
“This event, and what it means to generations of Americans of Irish heritage, can simply not be measured. Our great nation was founded by immigrants, like my Irish grandparents and great grandparents, who came here to work hard and establish a better life for their children. For them to see one of their descendants honored at the head of the parade would bring great joy as it does to me.”
Queens Parade Committee Chairman Michael Benn said: “We honor members of labor and community organizations of Irish heritage who play a positive role in New York. Steve Cassidy is a prominent Irish labor leader who proudly promotes his Irish heritage and culture.
“Given this is the 150th anniversary of the FDNY and the significant contributions of New York City Firefighters across our city and locally, this was a natural selection.”
Cassidy’s Irish heritage is on both sides of his family. His maternal grandparents were Myles D’Arcy from Dune, County Limerick and Margaret Quinlivan from Bird Hill, County Tipperary. His paternal great grandparents were James V. Cassidy from Cavan, and Mary L. Connoly from Galway.
The Queens County parade, which attracts up to 50,000 spectators steps off 1 p.m. at Beach 129th St. and Newport Ave., then continues east on Newport Ave. (across Beach 116th Street) and down Rockaway Beach Blvd. It will end by the St. Camillus parking lot on Beach 100th St.
Meanwhile, this Saturday, Feb. 21, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the parade committee will also host its annual Queens County Ball at Antun’s on Springfield Blvd., honoring Grand Marshal Steve Cassidy, U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley as Gael of the Year, and John T. Dunleavy, Chairman of the NY City St. Patrick's Day Parade, as Honorary Grand Marshal.
Proceeds from this event benefit educational, cultural and community activities in the Rockaways. Tickets are $100 each, tables are $1,000 and reservations are required. For tickets, sponsorships or journal ads, contact Michael A. Benn via email at email@example.com.