Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade showscases local Irish heritage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - At this year's Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade, you could find most of the crowd bundled up in coats, gloves, hats and blankets. Still the streets were filled with floats, bands and performers.

"It's St. Patrick's Day. You have to come out here and support everyone in the parade, plus we are all Irish," Patrick Glenn explained.

Families like the Glenns said they didn't mind the weather they wanted to celebrate.

"It's great to see some many people out here despite the rain and flurries," Jennifer Glenn noted, as she held on to three children.

|PHOTO GALLERIES | KC St. Patrick's Day Parade | Brookside St. Patrick's Day Parade |

To prepare for the long day of festivities, many started with a tradition that dates back to the 1800's - breakfast at Browne's Irish Market. The market opened in 1887, and parade co-chair Anne McKowen explained why the breakfast was so important.

"The traditional Irish breakfast includes some scrambled eggs potatoes, toast and bangers and rashers. The banger is the sausage and rashers is the bacon," McKowen said. "The history behind the breakfast is Irishmen needed a hearty breakfast to work long days in the fields. So they needed to start the day off well."

McKowen said that it is the history that makes today so important.

"The thing that is the most special about this is the Irish community. Especially here in Midtown and Westport, this is where the Irish began," she noted. "A lot of the churches and building were built by the Irish and then they stayed and raised their families here. They just never left and we want to celebrate that."

Rich with tradition, the largest single day event in Kansas City has become a fan favorite. The nation is giving the city's green parade recognition as well, with US News and World Report naming Kansas City's parade as one of the ten best in the county.

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