It has a Grand Marshal, floats and it shuts down traffic on Main Street every year.
About two minutes later, it’s all over and people move on with their daily routines.
The “it” is the Blue Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade, dubbed as one of the “shortest and smallest” parades anywhere. It begins on the south sidewalk of Main Street and winds all the way across to the north sidewalk of Main Street.
Yes, it quite literally runs across the street. That’s approximately 66 feet.
Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce President Lara Vermillion says the parade is a longtime tradition – celebrating 40 years in 2017 – that began with four men who wanted to have a little fun with St. Paddy’s Day, so they created their own parade.
Every year, a Grand Marshal is chosen and ushered across the street. The Grand Marshal is accompanied by floats – ice cream floats – created for the occasion by the downtown Soda Fountain-Flower Shop.
There might be some music, an archway made of balloons or perhaps Irish hounds walking in the parade, too. And then again, there might not. That’s part of the charm.
Vermillion says 100 people (give or take) attend and that police shut down a section of Main Street for the annual event. It begins at 9 a.m. and runs until … well, you get the idea. Here’s a video of the 2016 parade.
Blue Springs is one of the many places you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Missouri. Some of the others include:
Kansas City – The 33rd Annual Snake Saturday Parade and Festival begins on Friday, March 10, in North Kansas City and includes a carnival area and a charity cooking competition. On March 11, the Snake Saturday Parade begins at 11 a.m. at 14th and Swift streets. About 100,000 people generally attend. Kansas City’s 45th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is March 17 and begins at Linwood and Broadway and runs south on Broadway to 43rd Street. The parade includes hundreds of floats – many of which are created by local Irish families and organizations. The fun continues well into the night (and next morning) in Kansas City’s Westport District. A week earlier, on March 11, join the Kansas City Track Club’s Westport St. Patrick’s Day Run, which follows a four-mile course. There’s also a three-block fun run for kids!
St. Louis – Participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Run at 9 a.m. March 11 before the downtown parade starts at noon. The parade, which features more than 100 entries and some 5,000 marchers, is one of the city’s largest annual events, with about 250,000 spectators expected. On March 17, visit the Dogtown neighborhood for the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a St. Louis tradition since 1984.
Lake of the Ozarks area – Activities include the Lake Ozark St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11 and the St. Patrick’s Water Parade on March 18. You might check out the St. Patrick’s Short Bus Shuffle on March 18 and the St. Patty’s Open Golf Tournament at Osage National on March 19.
Sikeston – The St. Patrick’s Celebration and Home Brew Competition on March 18 promises a day of fun in Malone Park. Brewers from a three-state area will compete. Also included are live music, activities for kids and a costume competition.
Rolla – If there’s one city that’s synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, it’s Rolla, home to the Missouri University of Science and Technology. They’ve been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in grand style since 1908. There’s a full slate of events for St. Patrick’s Day in Rolla, with the traditional parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, among them. Prior to the parade, folks will spend several hours painting Pine Street – the center of the parade route – green.
Springfield – The city’s 37th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 2 p.m. March 18. The event includes an Irish Pet Contest beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge and includes vendor booths along Commercial Street. After the parade (approximately 4:30 p.m.) the celebration continues with an awards ceremony at Patton Alley Pub.
St. Patrick – It’s only fitting there’s a St. Patrick’s Day Festival here. This small community in northeast Missouri is home to the Shrine of St. Patrick, which is fashioned after the Saint Patrick’s Memorial Church of Four Masters in Donegal, Ireland. As of this writing, the lineup for Shrine’s 2017 events hadn’t been updated online, but activities include a 5K run beginning at 10 a.m. at the Shrine (registration starts at 9 a.m.). A roast beef dinner, a silent auction fundraiser for the Shrine and Mass at 3 p.m. round out the day’s events.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming and there’s plenty of fun to be had in Missouri. Celebrate safely and remember to share your St. Patrick’s Day photos with us on Instagram, using #MissouriAdventure.
Photos provided by the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce.