The Celtic Dream Irish Dancers, a group from P.S. 59 in the Bronx, performed traditional Irish dances. True to the parade's theme, the group is made up of Latino, Indian and African-American children who performed for the crowd.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, made his way to his second St. Patrick’s Day parade in two days on Sunday. “By order of the mayor, everybody is a little bit Irish,” he said to the crowd.
Just as in the Rockaways the day before, Sunnyside resident Kristina Ippolito said she heard Bloomberg being booed when he took the stage.
Speaker and openly gay mayoral candidate Christine Quinn also spoke before the parade began. She said the parade is important because protestors fought for the right of gay members of the community to march.
“It’s an example of diversity in New York City,” Quinn said. “Make no mistake, parades like this have change the entire political landscape.”
Quinn said that it is important to remember that gay organizations are still not allowed to walk in the 5th Avenue parade.
“We're not done,” she said.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district plays host to the parade, thanked the community he represents.
“This parade would not have happened if we did not open up our arms in this neighborhood to help celebrate diversity in all of its forms,” he said.