The parade featured more than 90 groups, marching from 43rd Street and Skillman Avenue to 58th Street and Woodside Avenue. The event included Irish, LGBT, immigrant and civic organizations, as well as city and state elected officials.
The parade, which began in response to the exclusion of Irish LGBT groups from other St. Patrick's Day parades in the city, placed an emphasis on diversity as it welcomed all to participate regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender.
“I think it’s great to have everybody marching together,” said Michael Patrick Ferrante, a member of Pride for Youth. “It shows that we’re not only working together with our community, but with all communities.”
Ferrante, who marched in the parade for the first time, said he was impressed by the turnout.
“I’m excited to be part of something that’s bigger than just speaking up for us, but for everybody and all equality,” he said.
The parade also highlighted the history of Irish immigration by reflecting on the present issue of undocumented immigrants and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects young immigrants brought to the country as children.
Dreamer Martin Batalla, who was a guest speaker at the parade, said the parade reflected the diversity of the country.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, we’re all immigrants,” he said.
Batalla, who was also attending the parade for the first time, explained that he could relate to the experiences of Irish immigrants and other groups that experienced exclusion.
He said that he felt welcomed at the parade and received words of support from attendees.
“They’ve been through the same struggle, so it was great experience,” he said.