NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crowds gathered in Queens on Sunday for the annual “St. Pats For All” parade, celebrating diversity among the Irish community in New York City.
The tone of the “Saint Pats For All” parade has typically been one of defiance, a place for all groups that are left out of the big parade on Fifth Avenue to come together, WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported.
“We believe now more than ever that we need to be out there, and we need to show who we are and we need to spread our message through music and love,” Michael Tolliver, of the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, said.
But with President Trump in the White House, Tom Triver from Astoria says this year’s parade in Sunnyside takes on a another layer of significance.
“Especially now-a-days, we want to show how inclusive Queens is as a community,” Triver said. “It’s a representation of so many immigrant communities.”
Several elected officials showed up to the parade to criticize Trump’s policies on immigration and LGBTQ rights.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito emphasized the parades message of inclusion in a tweet on Sunday.
“Yes, we all belong and that’s what the parade is all about…INCLUSION,” she tweeted.
The parade on Skillman Avenue takes place in the borough of President Trump’s birth. When asked about Trump’s ties to Queens, State Senator Michael Gianaris pushed back.
“This is not a place that believes what he believes,” Gianaris said. “If he ever represented this community, that was a community that was gone long ago, and thankfully so.”