The 30th annual Snake Saturday Parade kicks off Saturday morning in North Kansas City at 11 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Miles and Miles of Irish Smiles.”
The parade and festival are sponsored by Northland Festivals Inc. and include a carnival, free children’s play area, children’s stage and car show. Jennifer Jo Cobb, a Nascar World Truck Series driver, will be at the car show Saturday afternoon. The festival grounds are bounded at Armour and 18th Street, and Fayette and Howell streets.
More than $1 million has been donated to charity since the first parade in the parking lot of Rodeway Inn, said Mindy Hart, publicist for Snake Saturday.
“This is the 30th anniversary of the parade and festival. The philanthropy focus has been ingrained in it since day one,” said Hart.
Businessman Mickey Finn and sportscaster Bill Grigsby co-founded the parade.
“Finn never wanted publicity, he never wanted the accolades. But he single-handedly picked everyone that was involved in the parade. He wanted people who were going to embrace the idea of giving back to the community. Anybody that worked with him had this sense of what true leadership was,” said Hart.
Both Finn and Grigsby are deceased. Finn died on March 1, 2014.
This year’s Grand Marshall is Peggy Schmitt, president and CEO of North Kansas City Hospital.
“North Kansas City Hospital has historically been one of the greatest sponsors. We could not do it without them,” said Hart. “Peggy is definitely a great choice for us.”
The parade starts at 14th and Swift and heads north to Armour Road, then travels east on Armour to Howell Street.
A charity cook-off is held on Friday night. Charities compete and win prize money for cooking a steak and decorating takeout boxes.
Prizes will be awarded to parade entries, including the top marching band.
Radio station 99.7 The Point will take video at Armour and Swift and the parade will be live streamed onsnakesaturday.com
The parade will be held regardless of the weather, said Hart.