New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade returns after 2-year absence
The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade makes its in-person return in New York City Thursday after a virtual celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the event will step off without a familiar face.
The world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade will march up Fifth Avenue, but Cardinal Timothy Dolan will not be officiating the annual St Patrick's Day Mass that proceeds the parade.
He is in St Louis, mourning the death of his mother, and newly installed Diocese of Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan will take his place.
In an acknowledgement of the past two years, the parade will hold a moment of silence at noon outside St Patrick's to "mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the victims of the pandemic."
Parade participants will face south, towards the World Trade Center site, and members of the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, and 69th Regiment bands will play "Taps" and "Amazing Grace."
The moment will also be held in recognition of the people of Ukraine.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday raised the Irish flag with St. Patrick's Day Parade officials at Bowling Green Park in honor of the first Irish immigrants who arrived in New York City.
Elected officials and community members joined the flag-raising ceremony to kick off St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and Adams reflected on New York City's rich Irish history and contributions at the ceremony.
"New York City is a city of immigrants, rich in its culture and diversity, and our Irish brothers and sisters have contributed to our city's history for generations," he said. "This St. Patrick's Day, we honor those Irish immigrants who relocated and helped build our city and the many Irish Americans who serve New York City to this day. Today, we celebrate the fighting spirit of the Irish with the courage and resilience of this entire city."
The parade starts at 11 a.m., with marchers heading north on Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to East 79th Street
More than 150,000 people are expected to attend, and the 2022 Grand Marshal is James Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the IUOE is a diverse trade union that represents over 400,000 men and women in the United States and Canada who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry, as well as stationary engineers who work in the operation and maintenance of industrial and commercial buildings such as schools, hospitals, offices, powerhouses, sports arenas and the like, in both countries.
The IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers, public employees in a wide variety of occupations, and several job classifications in the petrochemical industry.
Callahan is a 40-year member and third-generation Operating Engineer, who moved up the ranks from Member to Shop Steward, Foreman, Trustee, Business Representative and ultimately in 2003, led Local 15 in New York City as President and Business Manager.
He and his wife Fran are the proud parents to James, Ian, and Patrick and reside on Long Island.