Kansas City Celebrates the Luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

Savanna Engelmohr

Savanna Engelmohr, Reporter

On March 17 at 11 a.m., thousands gathered in downtown Kansas City to watch the 47th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The route expanded through eight blocks of the city’s downtown districts. It began at Linwood and Broadway, proceeding south along Broadway to 43rd Street, and ended in the Westport district.

Streets were jam-packed with excited Kansas Citians alongside residents from the surrounding areas. All were decked out in the traditional green attire to celebrate the traditions of this Celtic holiday and the Irish heritage of Kansas City.

One resident from the surrounding Kansas City area, Anthony, said he was most excited to watch the vintage cars that were driven at the start of the parade.[MB1]

The parade featured floats from local companies, marching bands, drill teams, Irish dancers, bagpipers, unique cars and more. The theme this year was Shamrocks and Shenanigans. Each entry put their own spin on this theme.

The parade’s celebrity grand marshal was Kansas City native and star of the NBC sitcom Modern Family, Eric Stonestreet, who took his place as the lead of the parade and was followed by local politicians in classic cars.

The Kansas City St. Andrew Pipes and Drums followed down the streets. More than 40 musicians were dressed in kilts and equipped with bagpipes that played the traditional sounds of the Irish.

Hundreds marched alongside the floats to support their local communities and businesses. Raytown resident Gina said it was her first time attending to the parade, even though she had lived in the area her entire life and was excited to be marching in it.

Local marching bands and drill teams were another major showcase during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Local drill team the Gateway Highsteppers were among the crowd favorites as they danced their way through the streets of the parade wearing green tutus and accessories.

From the floats to the performances, the annual parade maintained its high reputation of kick starting the rest of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.