A massive crowd celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early in Woodside on Sunday.
The annual St. Pat’s for All parade, which touts “inclusiveness,” brought out several city leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Charles Schumer, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney, among others on the city, state and federal levels.
“Woodside is a special jewel in that history of the parade in no small part because of this beautiful progressive Irish community in Woodside,” said Ocasio-Cortez said. “The heart and spirit of today is about inclusiveness, celebration and uplifting, and we are celebrating each other.”
“This is one of my favorite parades, because everyone is included, nobody is excluded,” Maloney added.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is openly gay, recalled being fearful to tell his grandfather he had come out.
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the organizers of the parade and said being “inclusive” was the way New Yorkers need to be.
“Twenty-one years ago, a different Irish rebellion broke out, the thought of respecting everybody – its something that we are feeling today, if not for what happened 21 years ago, there would still be a lot of people who are not getting the respect they deserve,” said de Blasio of the founding of the St. Pat’s for All Parade. “Thank you to all those who helped build this from scratch when so many people said you couldn’t do it.”