• A wee toast to St. Patrick in Blue Springs, Independence

  • Independence and Blue Springs are celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Saturday.

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  • Two communities will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend with parades.
    The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the New Independence Square is at 3 p.m. Saturday. Awards will be given for Best Float, Best Entertainment Group, Largest Parade Group, Best Costume and Best Automotive Entry. It begins at East Truman Road and North Main Street. The parade will conclude a day full of activities on the Square. These include:
    n Karaoke from 9 a.m. to noon at the Court House Exchange. The restaurant will also be serving corned beef and cabbage.
    n Diamond Bowl will be having drink specials all day including green beer for $2.50, green Jell-O shots for $1 and Jameson shots for $4.
    n Be here Now, Gilbert Whitney and Co, Primary Colors Gallery, Uptown Boutique and Wilds about Harry will be offering a 10 percent sale on anything in the store that is green.
    Known as the “shortest and smallest” St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” the Blue Springs event begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Blue Springs. Celebrating its 36th year, the parade route begins at 1112 W. Main St., the Soda Fountain/Flower Shop. The route then simply crosses the street ending at 1123 W. Main St.
    According to the city of Blue Springs’ estimates, that is 66 feet.
    The tradition started in 1978 when a group of friends were having coffee at the Lowe Drug store on Main Street. They decided to have their own parade and walked across the street singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” The rest, they say, is history.
    Once participants reach their destination, which typically takes less than one minute, they can enjoy food and rink at The Keg. The official “paraders” are Bill Whitley, Jim Wallace and Pat Meyer, one of the three original men who made that trip across the street. The honorary grand marshal is Barbara Landes, a long-time Blue Springs teacher.

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