St. Patrick’s Day in KC

Thanks to the Irish, we have a day filled with parades, Guinness beer, shamrocks and hopefully a little luck. St. Patrick’s Day has become a celebration of Irish culture—one that Kansas City is very dedicated to participating in.

Originally, the holiday was meant to observe the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It’s a bit morbid, but that doesn’t stop many from wearing overwhelming amounts of green and socializing with an excessive amount of drinking, often oblivious to the celebration’s origin.

The timeworn cobblestone streets that run through Kansas City’s Westport District provide a glimpse back in time to where our city’s Irish roots first began. It is only fitting that Westport is where the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade ends.

Beginning at Linwood and Broadway boulevards, the parade travels down Broadway back to where it all began, with thousands celebrating in all shades of green along the way. This year’s parade theme is Shamrocks & Shenanigans, which should provide some amusing floats.

If you are strictly in this for the day drinking, Westport is truly the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not only does it give you the chance to see the end of the parade, but the party overflows into the streets with the iconic Irish pub, Kelly’s Westport Inn, at the heart of it.

Sippie Grewal, a senior at UMKC, has celebrated in Westport for the last two years, and explained that it has always been an entertaining experience.

“There are plenty of people out to watch the parade, as well as people having the most fun they can,” she said. “Also, the deals and food trucks are a perfect addition to the outdoor festivities.”

The party doesn’t stop there. Check out O’Dowd’s on the Plaza or The Dubliner in Power & Light, two authentic Irish-style pubs dedicated to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Junior Kelty Blagg said, “As a server at O’Dowd’s, I can honestly tell you it’s something you don’t want to miss. The event is crazy and constantly busy!”

Blagg explained that, like Westport, O’Dowd’s also shuts down a street on The Plaza and has live music all day. She is excited to be working the event this year and said to make sure to stop by for some green beer and a chance to win freebies.

Whether you head to The Plaza, Westport, or even all the way downtown, come wearing green and ready to celebrate the luck of the Irish.

bkghw2@mail.umkc.edu

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