Co-Grand Marshal Johanna Flores with Sister Tesa Fitzgerald.
By Irish Echo Staff
Led by the Pipers of the FDNY the 2020 St. Pat’s for All Parade takes place this Sunday, March 1 starting at noon from 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside to 58th Street and Woodside Avenue.
Over 120 registered groups include Irish organizations, pipe bands, veterans, puppets, scouts, immigrant and LGBT community groups.
New York officials confirmed for the parade include Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, New york State Senator Mike Gianaris, New York State Assembly members Catalina Cruz and Brian Barnwell, State Senator Jessica Ramos. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, NY Council Member Danny Dromm and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. Irish Consul General Ciarán Madden will represent the Irish government.
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The grand marshals are Mick Moloney and Johanna Flores.
Mick Moloney, according to a parade release, has recorded and produced over forty albums of traditional music and currently teaches at New York University in the Irish Studies program.
In 1999 he was awarded the National Heritage Award and in 2013 he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from the President of Ireland.
Johanna Flores came to Hour Children over sixteen years ago, working as the executive assistant. She has been the coordinator of “Hour Working Women’s Program” since the doors first opened in 2008.
Hour Children was founded in 1986 by Sister Tesa Fitzgerald to help formerly incarcerated women and their children.
Hour Children’s name acknowledges the key hours that impact the life of a child with an incarcerated mother: the hour of her arrest, the hour of their visit, and the hour of their reunification.
Added the parade release: St. Pat’s For All 2020 opens with a benefit concert on Friday, Feb.28 at the midtown Irish Arts Center starring Mick Moloney, Brian Fleming and the KAPPA BEATS band.
The renowned Grady sisters and Niall O’ Leary will lead music tributes in memory of Heidi Hynes advocate for the Bronx poor and Stanley Rygor beloved LGBT community parent advocate and traditional Irish musician.
Continued the release: St. Pat’s for All began in 1999 when the exclusion of the Irish LGBT group Lavender & Green Alliance from other Irish parades inspired the multicultural celebration of Irish heritage in Queens.
“Out of the experience of exclusion throughout the city we created this annual gathering of welcome and celebration of Irish culture,” said parade founder and co-chair, Brendan Fay.
Banners honor Fr. Mychal Judge, Eva Gore Booth, Robert Rygor, and Roger Casement. Faith groups include Dignity NY, The Catholic Worker and the Astoria Presbyterian Church.
Korean, Mexican, Columbian and many local communities will be there, said the release.
“St. Pat’s for All brings us together in a joyful cultural celebration of welcome and solidarity,” Brendan Fay.
“Our posters all over Sunnyside and Woodside read Bienvenidos! Failte! Welcome! In these anxious times immigrant and LGBT communities welcome our spirit of inclusion. Our parade is a reminder of the cultural gifts the immigrants always bring,” said Fay.
“Excluded from the Staten Island parade we extend a warm welcome to our LGBT brothers and sisters of the Pride Center to celebrate with us,” he added.
“This year’s parade is part of a national movement for change. Our motto says it all. We cherish all the children of the world and we work for a better future for them. So many of our marching groups promote immigrant rights, worker rights, an end to war, nuclear disarmament, housing justice, and human rights and equality for all,” said co-chair Kathleen Walsh-D’Arcy.
Registered LGBT groups include Lavender and Green Alliance, Dignity NY and Pride for Youth. Irish groups include The Brehon Law Society, the Irish Arts Center, Irish Repertory Theater, Irish American Writers and Artists, the Shannon Gaels and the Niall O’ Leary School of Dance.
Among the bands are the Pipers of the FDNY, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band.
Irish musician Brian Fleming, as he has for the last twenty years, brings together artists and musicians from Ireland and New York. Veterans for Peace will lead a coalition of justice and peace groups thanking Ireland for leadership in the United Nations on nuclear disarmament.
Ann Sansaricq leads the Sunnyside Woodside runners pre-parade run. Following the parade, Saints and Sinners and other local bars host music sessions into the evening.
“Sunnyside and Woodside are incredibly diverse neighborhoods where people turn what could be potential divides, religion, culture, nationality, into bridges to friendship and understanding. The St. Pat’s for All Parade is a beautiful realization of that spirit,” says Jaime-Faye Bean, Executive Director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District.
For concert tickets or to register go to www.stpatsforall.org.