The pipes will still play and the drums will still beat, but the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be a little less grand this year, thanks largely to a 2010 ruling by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that all city parades and festivals be cut in duration in order to save muchneeded overtime money.
That administrative ruling said that no parade could last more than five hours and that all parades had to be cut 25 percent in duration.
Because of that ruling, the parade, set for Saturday, March 5 this year, will end at Beach 102 Street rather than at Beach 95 Street, which has been its end point for the last several years.
Parade coordinator Michael Benn said that he tried to keep the parade route as it has been the past few years.
“I resubmitted the original permit request, hoping it would get through, but somebody was watching,” he said.
The parade will step off from Beach 129 Street and Newport Avenue and march east on Newport Avenue to Beach 116 Street, where it will turn south to Rockaway Beach Boulevard and then east again to Beach 102 Street.
The parade reviewing stand will be at Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, only three blocks from the parade’s end.
Though the sponsors of the parade, the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day and Cultural Committee, did not want to make the change, this is not the first time that the parade route has been cut.
Originally, the parade went all the way to Beach 84 Street and the St. Rose of Lima Church, where award ceremonies were held.
Over the years, however, the parade has ended in various years at Beach 92 and Beach 95 Streets.
“There was really nothing we could do, Benn concluded. “They even cut the Manhattan parade, and that’s saying something.