By Kady Cramer
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s what you can expect from three southland parades this weekend, prior to the big downtown KC parade on the 17th.
Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Warm-Up Parade, Chasing Rainbows
Kicking off Saturday, March 11, is the Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Warm-Up Parade with the theme, Chasing Rainbows, starting at 2 p.m. at 65th & Wornall Road. The parade draws approximately 15,000 participants and spectators from around the metro.
The Brookside Business Association and CID sponsor the celebration each year while over 100 organizations and businesses enter the parade. Whether marching, dancing, walking or riding – entries include bands, drill teams, Irish dancers, bagpipers, and more.
“One of the neatest things about it is that it really is a reunion for Brookside and Kansas City,” says Sean Ackerson, Executive Director of the Brookside Business Association and CID. “It’s both a congregation for the Brookside community but it’s also, for so many people, a reason to come back and see old neighbors.”
Entries of note will include your favorite political figures and city county and state officials, as well as Mayor Quinton Lucas. Lindsay Shively, Morning News Anchor for KSHB, will be leading the festivities as Grand Marshall.
During the parade, keep an eye out for the honorary “Mrs. Irish”, Sandra Neumann, owner of Brookside Gallery and Framing. Neumann has been a local business owner and her shop has been a staple in the Brookside shops, located at 114 W. 63rd St, for over 30 years.
A special tribute will be paid to longtime classic car organizer for the Brookside parade, Karl Roscoe. Roscoe was in charge of community outreach and booking all the timeless vehicles for over a decade. Rosco passed away in June of this year. His wife, Kay, along with his children, will ride in the parade driving the same car he drove in the parade each year.
Parade entry award categories will include Grand Prize Winner, Best Use of Theme, Brookside/KC Spirit Award, and Best Music.
The rain date for the parade is Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. For more information and route map, visit at www.brooksidekc.org/st-patricks-warm-up-parade.
Belton St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Rain or shine, Belton’s Main Street will hold their St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 11 at 5 p.m. Previously known as the Wendell T. Ivers parade entries will line up on 2nd Street behind City Hall, starting at 4 pm.
In 1984 Wendell Ivers worked at the parade since he closed Dryden’s Drug Store in Belton. Ivers went door-to-door to local businesses recruiting for an impromptu St. Patrick’s Day parade. Over a dozen businesses lined up to walk down the street and put on a parade, and the tradition has been going ever since.
For over a decade, co-organizer and committee lead Darin Jones has ensured the event continues on. Hundreds of spectators join Main Street every year as 40-80 entries drive through and throw candy.
“I was in high school the day Ivers started the parade,” says Jones.
First participating as an entry with Keller Williams Realty, Jones joined the committee after noticing the event needed some support and has helped put the event on ever since.
“Being the first outdoor event after a long, cold winter, the parade brings people together,” says Jones. “In keeping with the original spirit of the parade, any and everyone is encouraged to join. “
There are no entry fees, categories, winners, or official line up, according to Jones.
Food will be provided onsite by Chef Aristos Food Truck from 4:30-7:30pm. Grand Marshall for the parade is still undetermined.
The parade solicits donations for local charities. For more information, call Darin Jones at 816-419-6508 or visit their Facebook Group, Belton St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Martin City Happy Go Lucky Parade
Washington Street will be packed with parade-goers and local businesses on Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. for the Martin City Happy Go Lucky Parade. The parade starts at the corner of Washington Street and 135th, with entries lining up as early as 11:30 a.m. It will then proceed east down 135th where it will end at Holmes Road.
The parade began in 1987 when four Martin City business owners grabbed their friends, hopped in two cars and a horse and buggy, and held an impromptu St. Patrick’s “parade” down 135th. Over the years, the parade has become an inspiring showcase of local businesses, dance teams, schools, car clubs, dignitaries, and more.
“We are excited for the parade and hope to have a big crowd come out to enjoy the festivities and patronize the restaurants and shops in Martin City before and after the parade,” says Vickie Wolgast who manages the Martin City Community Improvement District (CID) which sponsors the event. She predicts an attendance of 20,000 and anywhere from 45 to 60 entries.
The Grand Marshall this year is longtime Martin City businessman David Van Noy who recently sold the Van Noy family restaurant RC’s, started by his father RC Van Noy. Mayor Quinton Lucas has confirmed an appearance at the festivities as well as some familiar judges. Five local icons will judge the entries, including business consultant Karen Conrad, former Royals pitcher Al Fitzmorris, and President-Elect of the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassador John Lohmeyer. Grand Marshall for the parade is still to be determined.
Parade entry prizes include a $300 award for first place, a $200 award for second place, and a $100 award for third place. For more information, visit martincity.org/st-patricks-parade.