2002-03-02 / Front Page

A Great Day For The Irish!

A Great Day For The Irish!

There is an old saying that "Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day," and nowhere is that more true than in Rockaway on the day the peninsula hosts its own St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The 27th annual version of the parade will step off on Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m. from Beach 130 Street and Newport Avenue.

This year, the parade has been renamed in honor of its founder, James Conway Sullivan, who passed away last year.

The annual Rockaway parade will now be known as the James Conway Sullivan Memorial Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

"On behalf of the parade committee and the memory of my son, I bid you all a Cead Mile Failte on this occasion of the James Conway Sullivan Memorial St. Patrick’s Day Parade," says his mother, Rosemary Sullivan, welcoming people to the parade. "I know that his presence will be felt and that he would have been so proud."

The line of march will follow Newport Avenue to Beach 116 Street, where it will turn south to the beach and then around the circle to Rockaway Beach Boulevard, where the parade will turn east, past the reviewing stand at Beach 105 Street and to the end of the parade at St. Rose of Lima Church at Beach 84 Street.

This year’s parade will honor 24 honorary grand marshals, all of them representatives of our local emergency response units. Among them are 12 firefighters (representing all of the fire houses in Battalion 47 and the battalion itself), four police officers (two from each of Rockaway’s precincts) and four emergency medical technicians who work for the Emergency Medical Service. In addition, there will be one representative from each of the four local volunteer departments – Broad Channel, Point Breeze, Rockaway Point and Roxbury.

Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Hillary Clinton have been invited and are expected to attend.

The parade itself will be preceded by a mass, which will be held at St. Francis de Sales Church at 9 a.m. Following the mass, an invitation-only breakfast will be held in the Ocean Room at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street. That breakfast will begin at approximately 10:30.

The United States Park Police Mounted Unit will once again lead the parade.

There will be 17 pipe bands and a number of marching bands in the parade. All-told, there will be nearly 100 marching units in this year’s parade, marking it as one of the largest ever.

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