2009-02-27 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

St. Patrick's Day Parade To Step Off On Saturday, March 7

By Howard Schwach

During the 2007 parade, one firefighter stopped the line of march in front of St. Camillus Church to ask his true love for her hand in marriage. During the 2007 parade, one firefighter stopped the line of march in front of St. Camillus Church to ask his true love for her hand in marriage. 'Tis a great day for the Irish and everybody in Rockaway will magically become Irish on March 7 when the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade steps off from Beach 129 Street and Newport Avenue at 1 p.m.

The parade will be led this year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been named the parade's Grand Marshal.

Led by the mounted unit from the United States Park Police and another from the New York City Police Department, the parade will once again include several pipe and drum bands, the staple of any Irish parade.

Several local schools and youth groups from all over the peninsula will take part in the parade as will the Beach Channel High School band, a group that has become a big favorite at the annual parade.

The parade has provided some high drama as well as spectacle the past two years.

During the 2007 parade, a Mylar balloon broke loose from a marcher and hit an electric wire at Beach 111 Street, causing a street fire that diverted the parade route for a short time.

Pipe bands are the staple of every Irish Parade and the Rockaway parade is no different.  Pipe bands are the staple of every Irish Parade and the Rockaway parade is no different. In the 2008 parade, a number of locals rode horses from a riding acade- my. On Beach 105 Street, one of the horses ridden by a teenage girl bolted the parade and crashed into the crowd, injuring a woman and her young child. Those incidents, however, did not dampen the enthusiasm for the event, which has become one of the major events not only in Rockaway, but in the city.

The parade route begins at Beach 129 Street and Newport Avenue.

The line of march continues east on Newport Avenue until it reaches Beach 116 Street, where it turns south to Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

On the boulevard, the line of march turns eastward once again, parading all the way to the reviewing stand at Beach 95 Street and the end of the parade.

Marchers from the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians carry flags representing each of Ireland's counties. Marchers from the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians carry flags representing each of Ireland's counties. Last year, a horse ridden by a young teen bolted the parade route and crashed into the crowd, injuring a mother and her young daughter. Last year, a horse ridden by a young teen bolted the parade route and crashed into the crowd, injuring a mother and her young daughter.

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