We are just a few days away from one of the most fun events of the year in Brookside: the St Patrick’s Warm Up Parade. It begins at 2pm on Saturday March 10, and lasts around 90 minutes. The parade starts at 65th and Wornall, heads north on Wornall to 63rd St, east on 63rd to Main St, south on Main to Meyer, west on Meyer to Brookside Blvd. The weather should be great!
2012 is the 32cd year for the parade. According to LaDene Morton’s book, The Brookside Story, the first parade was started on a lark by the owner and patrons of Hogerty’s Tavern. Virginia Kellog was running the merchants association at the time, and she decided to make the parade an official Brookside event. The downtown KC St Pat’s parade was gaining in popularity, and Brookside would piggy-back on the celebration by having their parade a week early.
At first the ‘parade’ wasn’t very big. It was mostly children from the neighborhood church and school groups who participated. One car would chauffeur the Grand Marshal of the parade. Eventually, the parade grew in size and length to what it is today. In the 1980s, the merchants started giving awards for various categories, including best music, best float and best theme. The parade now has to limit entries, currently over 100, and regularly attracts local media coverage. Local politicians and dignitaries to join in the fun, creating their own floats or walking along with residents. This year’s Grand Marshals are Bob and Darlene Drummond, owners of Drummond Cleaners–a Brookside business since 1919.
One of the best things I like about the parade is that it’s a very easy parade to watch–you aren’t far back from the street so you get a good look at the floats and the riders. It’s a true family affair, with many folks making it a party day on the front porch or lawn so friends can gather and socialize all afternoon. The parade is one of the special annual events that makes Brookside such a special place to live. Just be aware of the traffic closures and avoid the route area from late morning until late afternoon!