How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2021


Nathan Dunn

Browne’s Irish Marketplace is the oldest Irish business in North America.

St. Patrick’s Day will look different for the second year in a row, as traditional celebrations are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

According to the History Channel, St. Patrick’s Day is an annual day of celebration that commemorates the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, in 461 A.D. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place on March 17, 1601 in a Spanish colony that is now known as St. Augustine, Florida. After facing much discrimination from Protestant-majority America in the 1800s, Irish-Catholics gathered on St. Patrick’s Day to show their solidarity.

St. Patrick’s Day has become increasingly secularized and is generally a day of people wearing green and going to parades. However, Kansas City’s annual parade has been canceled for the second straight year because of restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

Kansas City’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade happened more than 40 years ago in 1973, according to Pat O’Neill’s book “From the Bottom Up: The Story of the Irish in Kansas City,” and has become a popular tradition ever since. The parade typically gathers thousands of people together throughout the 1.3-mile parade route, according to Visit KC.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Kansas City

Although Kansas City’s tradition parade has been canceled, there are still many ways people can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the area.

Go to the Leavenworth parade

The parade will be held in Historic Downtown Leavenworth at noon on March 17. Although different from past years, it will likely be one of the only St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Kansas City metro.

Visit Browne’s Irish Marketplace

Browne’s Irish Marketplace has traditionally been a hub of Kansas City’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Normally on this holiday, Browne’s would be serving their famous Irish Breakfast. This year, Browne’s has opted for a smaller scale celebration. They plan to host outdoor pop-up concerts throughout the month of March, including St. Patrick’s Day, and will also have merchandise available for purchase. Browne’s Irish Marketplace does encourage reserving an appointment to shop in person.

Movie Marathon

While there are limited public events to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, there is no shortage of great Irish-themed films to supply a St. Patrick’s Day movie marathon. Movies such as “Black ’47,” “The Departed” and “The Irishman” would make great additions to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration from the comfort of home.