Gay-friendly NYC St Patrick's parade to find new focus
NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of an LGBT-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade said Saturday that the inclusive celebration will go on even though New York's big St. Patrick's Day parade up Fifth Avenue has dropped its ban on gay groups.
St. Pat's for All founder Brendan Fay said he expects 2,000 marchers at Sunday's parade in Woodside, Queens.
Organizers of the Manhattan parade had banned gay groups marching under their own banners. But the groups will be allowed at this year's parade on March 17.
"The original reason for the St. Pat's for All is gone, but it has grown more diverse and more inclusive over the years," Fay said.
He said the Woodside parade will now focus on diversity in all forms. Participants this year include members of several ethnic communities — from Koreans and Mexicans to Puerto Ricans — as well as poets, artists, musicians and athletes.
The parade will start with a moment of remembrance honoring men and women who spent years fighting for gay rights — especially activists who attempted to walk in the Fifth Avenue parade and were arrested.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, was among the marchers in the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Rockaways, a waterfront community once known as the "Irish Riviera" for its large ethnic Irish population.
By Verna Dobnik. Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.
The Gayly- 3/5/2016 @ 5:02 PM CST