Since 1762, the St. Patrick's Day Parade has been an institution of New York City, and on Monday, marchers and revelers once again celebrated this tradition mixed with a certain degree of controversy and hypocrisy on a cold March day.
On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, one of the parade organization’s biggest sponsors, Guinness, pulled out from the event to show support for the LBGT community. The beer brand joined New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio as one of the first mayors in decades to boycott the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. De Blasio and Guinness created a united front with gay and lesbian groups that were prohibited to march openly in fear that a political agenda would be promoted with pro-gay signs. However, the banner from the Friends of Irish Freedom did not go unnoticed with a political message for the world, “England Get Out of Ireland.”
But, New York City’s 5th Avenue was not the only vehicle for political agendas, whether parade organizers wanted them or not. Characters Unite debuted its anti-bullying campaign over the airwaves amid the local WNBC’s broadcast of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with a commercial that featured Mackelmore and his hit song, “Same Love.” And to appease Ford, a heavy sponsor of the event, motorized vehicles were allowed along the route, a parade first. Cardinal Dolan traveled in a blue Ford Mustang convertible for the 253rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Despite the obvious, the Irish and those that are Irish for the day reveled in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, which included many Catholic organizations and schools, such as St. Raymond’s Marching Band from East Rockaway.
View the slideshow to see a small sample of marchers from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
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