BY NATHAN DUKE
The streets of Bayside will be swarmed with marchers during its first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 24 along Bell Boulevard.
Approximately 55 local groups—including pipe bands, elected officials and local schools—will take part in the day’s festivities, said Kieran Maloney, the chairman and president of the parade committee.
“This is something that has been in the works for a while now,” Maloney said. “A lot of different community groups will take part. We’ll have an amazing turnout.”
The day’s events kick off at 8 a.m. with a mass at Sacred Heart Church, located at 215-35 38th Ave. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. at the corner of 36th Avenue and Bell Boulevard.
Participants in the parade include Bayside’s Ciara Greene School of Irish Step Dancing, Mineola’s Inis Fada Pipe and Drum Band, Levittown’s Fitzpatrick Irish Academy of Dance, a number of elected officials who represent the area, Holy Cross High School’s drum line, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacred Heart Catholic Academy, the NYPD’s Emerald Society, the MTA Police’s pipe and drums, Saint Francis Prep High School Irish Club, Molloy High School Pipes and Drums and various Irish associations from the five boroughs and beyond.
The march will also include performances by traditional Irish dancers.
Pat Lynch, the president of the city’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, will be the parade’s grand marshal.
Maloney—who works for the city’s Human Resources Administration and is a Bayside resident—said that the plans for the parade were hatched over the course of the past year.
“I started this around this time last year and had committee meetings last summer, which lead into our first fundraiser,” he said. “We have a committee of about 30 people—a number of community leaders, business owners and people with strong ties to the community who have worked on other parades similar to this.”
No activities are planned along the commercial strip following the culmination of the parade, but Maloney said that he hopes marchers stick around to support the local bars and restaurants who provided sponsorship for the event—including One Station Plaza, Brian Dempsey’s, Monahan & Fitzgerald, Donovan’s Grill & Tavern, Bourbon Street and Maggie May’s.
Maloney said that he hopes the parade will become an annual event that will draw families from across the borough.
“I hope this is something we can do for years to come,” he said. “It benefits the community. We’re doing this as a family friendly event, which is why it’s taking place early in the morning. We want kids to grow up and say that they marched in the Bayside parade.”
Reach editor-in-chief Nathan Duke via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 122.
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