March 14-20, 200
1By Ray O’Hanlon
The 240th consecutive New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade is set to roll this Saturday, March 17, with faces old and new, a Fifth Avenue route borrowed and a flash perhaps of St. Patrick’s blue amid a traditional sea of green.
Ed Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, is grand marshal at the head of the line of march.
For Malloy, a father and grandfather, the honor of leading the parade is a realization of a dream.
But though Malloy’s mind might be focused on practical matters such as what shoes to wear for his big walk, his attention is not entirely on the parade.
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In conjunction with St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan, Malloy has been busy in the run-up to the parade using his union connections and current celebrity status on behalf of the victims of the recent El Salvador earthquakes.
Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in the set position last week, is not a go for the parade, preferring instead the streets of upstate Syracuse.
She is, however, expected to attend the pre-parade Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Cardinal Edward Egan is lined up to make his St. Patrick’s morning debut.
The parade is being dedicated this year to the labor movement, a tip of the top hat to Malloy.
And for the second year in a row, the parade will also be a salute to those who fought and died in the Korean War of 1950-53.
The Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization is on the outside looking in again but promises to do so noisily in a sidestreet protest during the long march, which will begin at 11 a.m. and continue well into the afternoon.
Spectators along the route, or viewers taking in the parade on WNBC, will this year be able to decide which newspaper’s line-of-march is most likely to throw light on just where Dublin, Cork or Kerry is likely to be in the scheme of things.
After an absence of three years, the Echo is again including a printed parade lineup.
As is the case every year, there will be much to do about numbers this Saturday. How many marchers, how many spectators and how many degrees Fahrenheit?
The fighting 69th Regiment, the parade’s proud spearhead, is marking 160 years on the march this year.
The regiment, and all other marching units, will pass before the main reviewing stand, where the Irish government will this year be represented by Minister Michael Martin.