St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday widely celebrated by the Kansas City community every year. With a strong Irish-American heritage and history, Kansas City has been established as home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations stretched over two weekends, multiple parades, lots of live music, and plenty of green beer.
The city has been celebrating the holiday since 1873 and draws a crowd of more than 200,000 each year. There are both family-friendly and adult-friendlier ways to celebrate the holiday throughout the metropolitan area and always a lot of fun experiences to be had. If you find yourself in the Heartland of the Midwest during this festive time, check out these fantastic traditions and festivities. Sláinte!
Snake Saturday Parade
The Snake Saturday Parade always occurs the Saturday prior to St. Patrick’s Day in North Kansas City, Missouri. The parade started in 1983 and has occurred every year since (minus two years during Covid lockdown). It is the largest family-based parade in the region, and occurs no matter what the weather conditions. The themes vary from year to year, but always include the “snakes” aspect of St. Patrick’s Day. Some of the favorite “floats” are the drumline and dance groups from the local high schools. There are several local Irish-owned pubs and restaurants your family can visit for a Rueben sandwich or ale after a chilly morning at the parade! For details on next year’s parade, visit the website here.
Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Westport
The whole Westport area in Kansas City is host to the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which started in 1873. It begins at Linwood & Broadway and proceeds south along Broadway to 43rd Street. As the parade goes through the middle of Westport, many people end up at Westport, where a few Irish pubs and restaurants, like Kelly’s Westport Inn, are located. While the parade is family friendly, the post-parade party in the area continues throughout the day and night for all the locals and those who come quite a distance to enjoy the scene.
Power and Light District
The Power and Light District is another great place to enjoy the festivities of St. Paddy’s Day with a few Irish joints like The Dubliner and McFadden’s Sports Saloon. While these are the only two Irish owned bars/restaurants, the entire Power and Light District participates equally in the traditions of green beer, Irish music, food specials, and lots of festive wear. McFadden’s usually starts the festivities offering green pancakes for those who want to start early. For more details on their many events, check out their website.
Browne’s Irish Marketplace
Browne’s Irish Marketplace is the oldest Irish-owned business in North America, opening in 1887 and passed down among generations of a family from Kerry Country. It has a full deli with rashers, bangers, potatoes, and black and white pudding, as well as imported Irish tea and goods. They also sell apparel, home décor, jewelry, and even offer Ireland travel tips. This quaint store is a perfect place to visit on St. Patrick’s Day with music and traditional food, but beware that it is a very popular place around the holiday, so plan ahead!
Weston, MO is not quite in Kansas City, but if you’re in the area and would like to have a more personal St. Patrick’s Day celebration, it is worth the 20-30 minute drive (depending on where you are). Weston is home to several Irish-themed restaurants, pubs, distilleries, and stores, and even hosts an annual Irish Festival! Weston is considered a “Town that time forgot” and is an experience on its own, but during St. Patrick’s Day, it will prove to be memorable. Weston is home to the McCormick Distilling Company, Holladay Distillery, O’Malley’s 1842 Irish Pub, Avalon Cafe, and the Celtic Ranch – all are spots your family will greatly enjoy!
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day in the Kansas City area is not to be taken lightly – your whole family will truly enjoy feeling welcome and “Irish” during the festivities. The food, music, Irish garb, and laughter will have you dancing a jig in no time. And for more ideas on where to take your kids in Kansas City read this story.