Parade celebrates Rockaway's Irish heritage
Mar 08, 2016 | 3376 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rockaway St. Patrick's Day Parade 2016
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Thousands of Rockaway residents – and people that just generally enjoy a good party – lined the streets to celebrate the community's Irish pride at the 41st annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

According to Michael Benn, the president of the parade, the turnout this year was great.

“Massive turnout,” he said. “It's great for a Queens community still rocked from Hurricane Sandy.”

A special mass was held at St. Francis De Sales Church followed by a breakfast at the Knights of Columbus before the main event.

The parade steps off at Beach 130th and Newport Avenue, runs down Newport Avenue across Beach 116th Street, then down Rockaway Beach Boulevard to the St. Camila's parking lot.

The parade featured elected officials, civic organizations, heritage groups and volunteers. The constant sound of bagpipes accompanied the marchers as they traveled the route.

This year's Grand Marshall was John Murphy, business manager of Plumbers Local Union 1, and a fourth-generation plumber who can trace his Irish roots back to his great-grandfather who lived in County Tipperany.

Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the parade for the second straight year. His presence was met by some with vulgarities and others eager to see the return of the ferry, according to residents who watched the parade uptown. His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, was also routinely booed when he marched in the parade.

Near Beach 105th Street the mayor was more warmly welcomed, with multiple parade goers stopping to take a selfie with de Blasio.

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