2004-03-05 / Editorial/Opinion

Parade Committee Must Get It Together

Parade Committee Must Get It Together

The Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off tomorrow at 1 p.m. The yearly parade is arguably one of Rockaway’s premier events, with hundreds of participants and many more who watch from Rockaway sidewalks. The parade is important for Rockaway, but the internecine warfare that is now going on within the parade committee does not bode well for the parade’s future. What’s in a name? The parade committee has to figure that out. The people who run the committee say that the parade must be called "The Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade," as its charter says. A minority of the committee’s members, however, say that the parade was renamed two years ago in honor of the parade founder, James Conway Sullivan. They argue that the parade should rightfully be called "The James Conway Sullivan Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade." In support of their position, parade officials show us the papers that incorporated the parade. They argue that the parade was renamed in memory of Sullivan only for the year after he passed away. In support of their position, those who want the parade named after Sullivan in perpetuity show a resolution passed unanimously at the December 10, 2001 parade committee meeting naming the parade for Sullivan. The controversy over the parade name recently spilled over into the street renaming in honor of Sullivan. It got nasty, with an anonymous facsimile sent to many local residents and officials urging them not to attend the renaming ceremony last weekend and a battle over who should be allowed to speak for those who wanted to rename the street for Sullivan. The parade is too important for Rockaway to become a battleground of sectarian interests.


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