Kansas City, MO

Some history behind St. Patrick's Day Parades: many think they started in Ireland

CJ Coombs

Correction: title change was necessary because it sounded too much like an ad and a piece of content had to be moved to the end

Did you think St. Patrick's Day parades started in Ireland?

The Irish tradition of St. Patrick's feast day was brought to the American colonies by the Early Irish settlers.

According to history, the first parade on record occurred in St. Augustine, Florida. In March 1601, the St. Augustine residents gathered to honor the day of San Patrico, or St. Patrick. It was a Spanish colony following the lead of its Irish vicar, Ricardo Arthur, and the people walked the streets to honor the Irish saint who was protecting their fields of corn.

Also, over 100 years later, English military soldiers who happened to be Irish were so homesick that they took to marching in Boston in 1737, and again in 1762 in New York.

The honored St. Patrick

St. Patrick is said to be one of the most successful Christian missionaries in history. He was born in the 4th century in Britain. His family was Christians of Roman citizenship.

When St. Patrick was only 16, his family's estate was attacked by Irish assailants, and he was taken as a prisoner. He spent six years in prison after being taken to Ireland and managed to escape and return to Britain.

St. Patrick held the belief that God called upon him to Christianize Ireland. For 15 years, he would study after joining the Catholic Church. He became the church's second missionary to Ireland. It was the year 432 when his mission began in Ireland and by the time he died in 461, the island was almost entirely Christian.

The March 17th celebration has continued through the years. This was also with the early help of the dramatic number of Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s, especially those who landed in Kansas City. It's now a widely popular event. If you have Irish ancestry, you understand the cause to celebrate.

Kansas City's annual parade

The parade will start at 11 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. If you work downtown, you can anticipate these road closures:

  • Westport Road closure: from Mill Street to Broadway.
  • Pennsylvania Avenue closure: 40th Terrace to 42nd Street.
  • Broadway closure: from Linwood to 43rd Street

Typically, the parade starts at Linwood & Broadway and heads south along Broadway to 43rd Street, making its finish in Westport. If you took the day off work, then you get to enjoy all the fun before and after the parade!

Thanks for reading! Cheers to the green!

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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