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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Daniel Hogerty, with his sandwich board leading parade, March 15, 1974
Daniel Hogerty, saloon keeper (wearing the sandwich board), staged a small parade as a stunt to lure more patrons to his tavern, March 15, 1974. Photo courtesy Pat O'Neill Jr.

Saint Patrick's Day Parade

The third largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the nation takes place each March 17th in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, a city built largely by Irish immigrants. Although the 20th-century version of the parade was initiated only in 1973, St. Patrick's Day Parade celebrations have a long and proud tradition dating back to the 1800s. The modern-day revival was dreamed up as a lark by Mike Murphy, a Kansas City talk show host, p.r. man Pat O'Neill, and local saloon keeper Dan Hogerty. Vowing never to let the Parade succumb to respectability, Murphy staged such stunts as painting a calf, several dogs and a goat green in 1976; he declared that, as long as he had anything to do with it, the Parade would remain "odd." Murphy appeared in a garbage truck at the end of the parade to collect empty beer bottles, and, leading an impromptu parade in 1974, Hogerty wore a sandwich board which on his stomach said "Parade" and on his backside said "End of Parade."

The year 2000 parade will mark Kansas City's 150 sesquicentennial. It will be led off by the Long Bagpiper (Jody Watson), followed by color guards, bands, drill terams, floats of all descriptions, and revelers of all sorts.

Originally submitted by: Karen McCarthy, Representative (5th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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