St. Patrick’s Day returns to Johnson County with parades this weekend and more ways to celebrate next week

Shawnee St. Patrick's Day Parade

There are a few St. Patrick's Day parades to enjoy in and around Johnson County, including the return of Shawnee's for the first time since COVID-19 hit. Photo via city of Shawnee St. Patrick's Day announcment.

If you didn’t already know, here’s your reminder: St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away. (So get some green in your wardrobe by then, if you haven’t already.)

And this one feels a bit luckier than usual.

After all, it’s been three years since the metro has gone all out for the holiday, considering how the COVID-19 pandemic crimped or canceled celebrations in 2020 and 201.

There are a few different parades (both old and new) to attend in order to celebrate.

Here are a few ways to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day in and around Johnson County.

38th Annual Shawnee St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Shawnee St. Pat’s parade organizers say its the longest running such event in Johnson County, and it returns Sunday, March 13, for the first time since 2019. Above, a scene of marchers in a past parade.

Shawnee is bringing its St. Patrick’s Day Parade back for the first time since 2019. Both the 2020 and the 2021 events were canceled due to COVID-19.

The theme for the parade is “What’s Your Irish Superpower?”

It will begin at Monrovia and Johnson Drive and head east on Johnson to Nieman Road.

Following the parade, there will be an awards ceremony at Aztec Theater and performances by a local Irish-American musician and the Driscoll School of Irish Dance.

Details: Shawnee’s 38th Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is Sunday, March 13 and kicks off at 1 p.m. Those who wish to attend should fill out this online form and take $10 for the entry fee.

Overland Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade

OP Fall Festival
Overland Park’s Fall Festival. Photo via city of Overland Park website.

Some Overland Park residents may remember St. Patrick’s events from decades past. Well, the city is brining it back Saturday, March 12.

It could be cold on Saturday, so bundle up. Current forecasts call for single-digit temperatures in the morning.

Details: Hosted by the Downtown Overland Park Partnership, the parade begins at 10 a.m. and the route starts on 79th and Floyd Streets, according to Visit Overland Park. The parade will head west on 79th Street to Santa Fe Drive, continue south on Santa Fe and end at Robinson Street.

Snake Saturday Day Parade in North Kansas City

According to parade organizers, the temperature for the very first Snake Saturday Parade in North Kansas City was 10 degrees. Above, a scene from a more recent pre-pandemic parade. Image via Snake Saturday Parade website.

It began as a promotion for a hotel back in the early 1980s, spearheaded in part by Kansas City broadcaster Bill Grigsby.

Now, it’s one of the metro’s biggest annual St. Pat’s traditions, happening on the Saturday before the main holiday.

Details: This year’s event kicks off Saturday, March 12, at 11 a.m. The parade will begin at 14th and Swift, but its main drag is down Armour Road past the grandstand and main viewing area in front of North Kansas City Hall.

Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade 2016
KC St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2016. Photo via Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Facebook.

Details: The Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on St. Patrick’s Day itself, Thursday, March 17. It will kick off at 11 a.m. at Linwood and Broadway Boulevards, near Westport and head south on Broadway to 43rd Street.

Kansas City’s parade theme this year is “Doing an Irish Dance!” More information including a parade route and parking map can be found online here.

Other ways to celebrate

Dolce Bakery St. Patrick's Day.
Dolce Bakery St. Patrick’s Day cookies. Photo via Dolce Bakery website.

While there’s no shortage of St. Patrick’s Day parades to attend this year, there are other ways to enjoy the Irish holiday.

Below are a few non-parade related ideas:

  • Put in an order of St. Patrick’s Day treats at Dolce Bakery, like the sugar cookies above. Orders must be placed by March 14 online here.
  • Sign up for a St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Leawood on March 19. In addition to the chip-time run, there is also a costume contest. Registration can be completed online here.
  • Visit McGuire’s Tavern, an Irish bar and grill, in northern Overland Park for a St. Patty’s Day Party. The restaurant is serving a special menu featuring corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, according to its website.
  • Join the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl at Prairiefire on March 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participating eateries include The Brass Onion, Pinstripes and Rock’n’Brews. Register for free online here.