New York--Sept. 3...The New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee today announced that His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan will be the Grand Marshal of the 2015 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade, the nation's oldest parade. Parade organizers also announced that Out@NBCUniversal will be among the 320 units in the parade, marching under its own banner.
The 2015 St. Patrick's Day celebration will begin with the solemn high mass at 8:30 am on Tuesday, March 17, celebrated by the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
"The New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade is blessed to have Timothy Cardinal Dolan as its 253rd Grand Marshal," said John Dunleavy, Chairman and Director of the Parade. "Cardinal Dolan has quickly become a beloved and iconic figure in New York for his compassion, faith, and wit. The Parade Committee is overjoyed that our Irish-American Cardinal will be leading the Parade forward next year."
After a unanimous vote of the officers and board of directors, John Fitzsimons, a director, announced that for the first time a marching unit from the gay and lesbian organization Out@NBCUniversal will be joining parade.
The Parade committee issued a statement welcoming the group:
"The NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade has celebrated Irish culture, heritage, tradition, and the faith of St. Patrick since 1762. In its 253-year history, the parade has included individual marchers of every political and personal persuasion, including members of the gay community. Indeed, in recent years, we have encouraged all New Yorkers and gay participants to join with any of our 320 marching units as a symbol of our inclusiveness.
"At the same time, organizers have diligently worked to keep politics -- of any kind -- out of the Parade in order to preserve it as a single and unified cultural event.
Paradoxically, that ended up politicizing the Parade. This grand cultural gem has become a target for politicization that it neither seeks nor wants because some groups could join the march but not march with their own banner.
"To address that and move forward, Parade organizers welcome the LGBT group, 'Out@NBCUniversal' to march in the 2015 NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade under its own banner. WNBC TV has long been our broadcast partner in televising the NYC Patrick's Day Parade around the nation.
"This change of tone and expanded inclusiveness is a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics as it moves into its 253rd year, all the while remaining loyal to church teachings and the principles that have guided the parade committee for so many decades."
The NYC Saint Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration Committee,
Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.