Organizers of this year’s Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade are expecting a higher than normal amount of floats along with a larger crowd on Friday.
“It’s going to be a beautiful sunny day with no rain,” said Melissa Rohr, senior co-chair of the 2017 Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “But it’s always smiling and always sunny when you’re Irish.”
This is the 45th year for the parade, which has the theme of “Peace. Love. Irish.” The parade will have 131 floats, which will include families, businesses, Irish dancers and drill teams.
“We are expecting larger crowds because it’s spring break and its on a Friday.” Rohr said. “It’s going to be a great day for a parade. Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”
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Streets in the midtown area will close several hours before the event begins. The parade, which follows Broadway, starts at 11 a.m., but streets in the area will close as early as 8:15 a.m., according to parade organizers.
The parade begins at Linwood Boulevard and heads south on Broadway to 43rd Street.
Streets that will close at 8:15 a.m. include Linwood from Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and Broadway from 31st Street to Linwood.
At 9 a.m., Broadway will close from 31st to 47th streets, according to police. Police discourage drivers from crossing Broadway in that area after that time.
Cars parked in any of those areas must be moved before 4 a.m.
Broadway will reopen at the conclusion of the parade
“Be safe, be thoughtful,” said Sgt. Kari Thompson, a spokeswoman with the Kansas City Police Department. “There will be a lot of children out as well. We do ask those parents who are thinking about sending their children to the parade by themselves to think again.”
Instead, parents should consider attending the parade with their children, she said.
“We urge everyone to come out for a great celebration,” she said. “We are looking forward to it.”
“Of course we are going to have enforcement out like we do every year,” Thompson said. “So please drink responsibly and you won’t have that to worry about.”
RideKC has announced that it will reroute buses in Kansas City’s midtown and Westport areas for the parade.
The reroutes will start as streets close a few hours before the parade. Buses will return to regular routes as the parade clears and crowd disperses.
RideKC also suggested people avoid parking issues by riding a bus to the parade. Many routes will get passengers within a block or two of the parade route. For information, call the regional call center at 816-221-0660.
The routes affected by the closures are 31, 31st Street; 35, 35th Street; 39, 39th Street: 39, 39th Street Shuttle (serving the University of Kansas Medical Center and 39th west of Broadway) and 47 Broadway.
To see how the buses will be rerouted, go to ridekc.org/bulletins.