The above title is a bit of a misnomer. Kansas City’s celebration of St. Patrick isn’t a one day event: an entire week of festivities are on the docket! In 2016 niche.com ranked KC seventh among its “Best Cities to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day”, ahead of St. Louis and even Chicago. Local parades, festivals, entertainment, events, pubs and shops will cover your hankering for all things Irish.
Are you a parade junky? Hold onto your cap, grab a toasty wool sweater, and head out to any one (or all) of the nine parades in the area.
- The 45th Annual Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade kcirishparade.com is the granddaddy of them all, beginning at 11am on March 17.
- The Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Warm Up Parade begins at 2pm on March 11 and is a heartwarming local favorite
- Emerald Isle Parade in Lee’s Summit downtowns.org
- Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com
- Snake Saturday Parade and Festival in North Kansas City snakesaturday.com
- Bolton St. Patrick’s Day Parade belton.org
- Leavenworth St. Patrick’s Day Parade lvirish.com
- Shawnee St. Patrick’s Day Parade cityofshawnee.org
- Blue Springs “Shortest and Smallest” St. Patrick’s Day Parade bluespringschamger.com
Into all things Irish? Browne’s Irish Marketplace brownesirishmarket.com will be your pot of gold! Open since 1887, it is officially the oldest Irish business in North America.
Their offerings are many and varied: whiskey tastings, street faire, Irish breakfast, apparel, home goods, jewelry, plus a grocery and deli. Live Irish music is often available in their outdoor venue. Last year we had a grand time with friends at a concert featuring The Elders. The atmosphere was festive, fun, and family friendly. Moreover, it is clear that the owners Kerry and John have put their heart and soul into this family owned business. They are a real treasure in our community, consistently giving back.
You get also buy of bit ‘o the green from Charlie Hustle Clothing Co. on the Country Club Plaza. Limited edition “Kiss Me I’m Irish” and “Luck of the Irish” shirts are featured this year.
Sheehan’s Irish Imports just south of here in Waldo has been operated for more than 30 year’s by the Sheehan sisters. Shelves are packed with Irish treasures, and the refrigerator holds bangers and soda bread.
If tipping a beer or sipping some whiskey is your way of celebrating, KC’s pubs won’t disappoint. In nearby Westport visit McCoy’s Public House mccoyskc.com and then cross the street to Kelly’s Westport Inn kellyswestportinn.com .
There you can have a “car bomb” made by dunking a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream mixed with Jameson Irish Whiskey into a pint of Guinness beer, if you so choose! Since 1947, the Kelly family has kept the spirit of camaraderie and fellowship alive on this tiny corner . If all the beer has you craving shepherd’s pie and corned beef sliders, head over to O’Dowd’s Little Dublin odowdslittledublin.com , right here on the Plaza.
Interested in Celtic Heritage? The Kansas City Irish Center is a nonprofit cultural center with recently moved into a new location at Drexel Hall in midtown on Linwood. They offer genealogy workshops, Irish language classes, knitting classes, an Irish book club, and rousing concerts. We just attended one that was an extraordinary blend or Irish and calypso music! Visit irishcenterkc.org to see more about all they do to preserve Irish tradition.
If you feel the need to burn off all those extra indulgence calories, you can always participate in the Whiskey Run (5K) as park of Irishpalooza irishpalooza.com. Another racing option is The St. Patrick’s Day 4 mile run stpatricksday4milerun.com , hosted by Westport. Nothing says you can indulge again after your run!
Guests waking up at Southmoreland on the Plaza on St. Patrick’s Day are treated to a once a year delight: an Irish breakfast featuring corned beef hash, fried eggs and delectable melt-in-your mouth-oh-I want-some-more Irish soda bread.
Irish or not, everyone loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in their own way here in Kansas City. Erin go Bragh and come join us!
Mark Reichle and Nancy Miller
Southmoreland on the Plaza