Inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade set for Sunday on Staten Island

ByLindsay Tuchman, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, March 17, 2024
Inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade set for Sunday on Staten Island
Lindsay Tuchman has the story in Staten Island on the new St. Patrick's Day tradition.

WEST BRIGHTON, Staten Island (WABC) -- Megan Coppola is the owner of Beans and Leaves in the West Brighton neighborhood on Staten Island. She also is the chair of the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District and is proudly Irish.

"It's a part of my family. It's my heritage," Coppola, Forest Avenue Business Improvement District Chair, said.

But like many others on Staten Island, she was unhappy with the exclusion of LGBTQ+ groups from the borough's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, so her business district voted to host a second, inclusive parade on Sunday.

"It was unanimous. We want to be able to see all of our friends, our peers, our neighbors, some family members be able to be a part of this," she said.

The established parade, organized by the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, took place on March 3 but groups like the Staten Island Pride Center were not, and have never been, allowed to participate.

This weekend though, the group plans to proudly march.

"We've just wanted to participate like any other organization, celebrate our Irish heritage, and walk down Forest Avenue with our banner," Carol Bullock, executive director of the Pride Center of Staten Island, said.

Businesses along Forest Avenue are ready to show their support as well, like Jean's Fine Wines and Spirits.

"This is a great neighborhood and I think this is going to really bring people together. I think everybody is very open and very willing. And this is something that should have happened a long time ago," owner Michael Schrader said.

The parade route will bring around 60 groups down Forest Avenue from Hart Boulevard to Broadway.

Mayor Eric Adams says he will be marching along with them.

Bullock hopes it lets anyone who feels left out know their community supports them.

"The pride center is here for you regardless, but again, we believe in inclusivity, and I think that the West Brighton and Staten Island community is showing that they believe that as well," she said.

The parade kicks off on Sunday at noon. It's free to attend and open to all.

Organizers hope one day, there won't be a need for two parades.


* More Staten Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.