Photos Courtesy of Councilman Ulrich’s Office; NYPD; Borough President’s Office; the City Council; Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s Office
By Michael V. Cusenza
Whether you’re full-blooded Irish or just claim the Emerald Isle for the day, the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Rockaway Beach has welcomed all with open arms for more than four decades—and Saturday was no different.
Hundreds of revelers braved blustery winds and chilly temperatures to help mark the long-standing borough tradition that boasts everything from pipe-and-drum bands representing several counties to the wee cheerleaders of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy that always bring a smile to many an Irish eye.
This year’s parade grand marshal was Patrick Dolan, Jr., president of the Steamfitters Local 638. The Gael of the Year was Brian McCabe, chairman of the American Irish Heritage Foundation. Deirdre Feerick, a senior executive at Transport Workers Union Local 100, and Michael McMahon, owner of Roger’s Pub in Rockaway Park, served as honorary grand marshals.
The World’s Borough is also home to the St. Patrick’s Day for All Parade, a unique Sunnyside/Woodside event first held in 2000 that welcomes all to celebrate Irish heritage and culture regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation.
This year’s St. Pat’s for All celebration was held on Sunday and featured Dan Barry, longtime reporter and columnist for The New York Times; and Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, producer, teacher and activist, as the 2018 grand marshals.