NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time since 2019, the Snake Saturday Parade is back before St. Patrick’s Day in North Kansas City.
March festivities were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, with a "Spooky Snake Saturday" last fall.
The beloved community tradition has long been a place for making family memories no matter rain, shine or snow.
Organizers had a plan in place to tackle clearing the route despite wintry weather.
While the carnival won’t happen this year and the charity cook-off has moved to Sunday, you’ll still find parade fun and children activities this weekend.
Even during cold or wet weather, organizers say they will still have crowds around 20,000 people.
In 2015 on a beautiful day, organizers say they saw an estimated 125,000 people come to Snake Saturday festivities.
Organizers do what they can to have the parade despite the weather for many reasons, including the charities competing with their parade entries.
Of the 90 or so parade entrants, about 30 are local nonprofits.
“It’s more than a parade,” Mindy Hart Davis said. “Everything that we do about this parade is to give money to charities. We hope to top $1.7 million to charities this year."
Davis weighed in on how the nonprofits are able to use the money raised.
“It’s undesignated funds," she said. "That means they can do whatever they need to with the money to keep the organization going."
Misty Barnard is with the nonprofit Halos and Hogs, who entered a float into the parade competition where the top prize is $7,000.
“Our community is so committed to this parade and what this town has done for them for so many years," Barnard said. "They are excited to come and show their support. We’ve just gotta get layers, just gotta make sure we wear our layers and we will be good to go.”
On top of the visibility in the community and the bonding with their volunteers while they build a float, the prize money would help them continue to grow their mission.
Halos and Hogs works to raise awareness of SIDS, safe sleep practices.
Barnard said the nonprofit started as a way to honor the memory of her grandson Lukas.
“It’s part of our healing to know that we’re doing something to prevent what took his life," Barnard said. "That could have been preventable possibly and to know that we are saving other babies in the future."
Organizers held a "Spooky Snake Saturday" last fall, as a way to give nonprofit organizations a chance to win prize money. Halos And Hogs took first place.
Barnard is hoping they’ll take first place again, though Davis adds that every nonprofit who competes in the parade walks away with something.
Saturday's parade begins at 11:00 a.m.