While St. Patrick’s Day may be over, the celebration of Irish heritage continues this weekend in Bayside.
The second annual Bayside St. Patrick’s Day parade is on Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m., led by parade organizer and neighborhood resident Kieran Mahoney. The Bayside resident served as the Queens County Aide for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan.
FDNY Chief Ed Kilduff is this year’s grand marshal and will be accompanied by aides Phil Brady, Martin Dolan, Betty McLoughlin, Monsignor Tom Malchaski and John Ryan.
“We’re excited going into our second parade. Last year’s parade was a bigger turnout than we ever had expected. We knew the community was excited but when I saw three or four people deep on the sidewalk, it gave me chills. Some say it was close to 1,500 people. We’re hoping this year is even larger,” said Mahoney.
Mahoney shared that this year’s parade will feature more community participation than last year after other local groups reached out to take part in the festivities. Saturday’s parade will feature nearly 70 bands, schools, dance groups and civic organizations.
“We have more marching units along with more pipe bands. Many of the pipe bands have roots in Bayside but may have moved out of the neighborhood, so they’re thrilled to march with us. Another exciting piece is that we plan on donating funds to local charities,” he said.
The parade’s organizer said that the parade’s roots stemmed from Bayside’s strong Irish American community. He added that many who march and volunteer, including himself, volunteer and assist in other events during “parade season.”
Back in 2016, Mahoney and other community members formed the Bayside St. Patrick’s Day Committee with the intention of starting a local parade. So in October 2017, Mahoney and other members of the committee started raising money to make the parade a reality.
“The question has always been asked, ‘Why isn’t there a parade in Bayside?’ Well, I started asking close friends, elected officials and business owners. Once they were behind it, we ran with the idea and here we are going into year two,” Mahoney said.
He said that parade organization is a yearlong affair that takes the work of over 20 dedicated community members.
“It takes a strong, organized and cooperative committee to organize the parade. Our committee of over 20 people does great work throughout the year. The parade might be one day but work is done year round, such as fundraising, outreach [and] community building. Our sponsors have been vital in our efforts, without their support we couldn’t make this happen.”
The parade is on Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. on Bell Boulevard between 36th and 42nd avenues. Check out the fliers below to see the full list of parade honorees, sponsors and marchers.