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St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014: Marchers brave the cold and Guinness backs out

Photos from the St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014.
Photos from the St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014.
Frank Haggerty

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.

The St. Raymond School Band from East Rockaway, N.Y. in the 2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Frank Haggerty

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.

© Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA more Catholic information and news from the author, click subscribe or follow Deirdre on Twitter, like her on Facebook, read her blog or email her any comments or questions.