The Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade will bring a sea of green to midtown streets today.
The parade, which begins at 11 a.m. at Linwood and Broadway boulevards and will run south to 43rd Street, is expected to draw large crowds this year because it falls on a Friday and spring break for some schools.
The parade-goers, no matter how divergent their green-styled attire, will be nonetheless united by one thing today.
“Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Melissa Rohr.
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She’s the senior co-chair of this year’s parade, and she expects to see a larger than usual number of floats and people in today’s parade.
The weather could encourage high attendance.
“It’s going to be a beautiful sunny day with no rain,” Rohr said. “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.
Streets in the midtown area will close several hours before the event begins. Streets in the area will close as early as 8:15 a.m., according to parade organizers.
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.
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. “We urge everyone to come out for a great celebration. 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. To see how the buses will be rerouted, go to ridekc.org/bulletins.
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.
Good eats on St. Patrick’s Day
This year, Americans are expected to spend more than ever on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The National Retail Federation surveyed 7,609 consumers on their St. Patrick’s Day spending plans. The retail group estimates Americans will spend $5.3 billion this year, compared with $4.4 billion in 2016. The federation has been tracking St. Patrick’s Day spending for 13 years.
It expects Americans to spend $37.92 per person, on average. Most of the celebrants will wear green; 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. About 23 percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent plan to attend a private party. Fifteen percent of the people responding to the survey also plan to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast.
A sampling of area food establishments offering St. Pat’s specials Friday:
▪ The Culinary Center of Kansas City, 7920 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park: Starting at 5 p.m. it will feature live music, Till Vodka spirits tasting, Guinness beer tasting and small plates including Irish soda bread, corned beef sliders and Guinness brownies, Dublin Coddle, and cooking demonstrations.
▪ Doughnut Lounge, 4117 Pennsylvania Ave. in Westport: It will feature a Reuben Nodut (a rye version of its knife-and-fork doughnut), along with other Irish-themed doughnuts and specials on a variety of bottled beer, drafts and drinks. The specials will start at 7 a.m. Friday and run through 1 a.m. Saturday.
▪ Paddy O’Quigley’s Pub & Grille, 5317 W. 151st St., Leawood: St. Paddy breakfast at 9 a.m. featuring green eggs, bacon, sausage, cottage fries and a biscuit for $8.99, or $5.99 for children. Starting at 11 a.m. it will feature a special St. Paddy’s Day menu, including a Corned Beef ’n Cabbage dinner for $12.99 (while it lasts), fish and chips and coleslaw for $11.99, and Shepherd’s pie for $9.99.
▪ Porto do Sul Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse, 11900 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park: It will add corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes to its Harvest Table with no additional fee.
▪ Q39 barbecue, 1000 W. 39th St.: Smoked corned beef brisket Reuben sandwich with house-cut fries for lunch for $12 and smoked corned beef brisket plate with grilled cabbage and root vegetables for dinner for $17.
▪ Summit Grill, 4835 N.E. Lakewood Way in Lee’s Summit and 520 W. 75th St. in Waldo: Shepherd’s pie at lunch is $11.95 and dinner is $15.95; and corned beef and cabbage for $13.95 at lunch and $17.95 at dinner. Two corned beef sliders for $5 at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.
▪ Third Street Social, 123 S.E. Third St., Lee’s Summit: Co-owner Domhnall Molloy will offer some specials from his native Ireland — bangers and mash for $10.95 at lunch and $15.95 at dinner, and fish and chips for $13.95 at lunch and $17.95 at dinner, as well as two corned beef sliders $5 at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.
▪ Yard House in the Power & Light District at 1300 Main St. and in the Legends Outlets Kansas City at 1863 Village West Parkway in Kansas City, Kan.: It will offer corned beef brisket for $17.95, Shepherd’s pie for $16.95, and a grilled corned beef sandwich and french fries for $13.75, along with specialty cocktails such as the Dublin Mule for $10.25 and an Irish whiskey flight for $18.
▪ Farm to Market Bread Co. It is the last day in 2017 for its limited edition Irish soda bread, retailing for $4.99 in some area grocery stores. It has been making the bread — a sweet loaf packed with raisins and topped with crunchy sugar sprinkles — since 2004.