Celebrate all things Irish during the eighth annual Emerald Isle Parade, which begins at noon Saturday, March 16, in Downtown Lee’s Summit. The main parade route is on Green, Third and S.E. Main streets. The popular parade and fun activities before and after take place every year the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s theme is “Lucky 2013.”
The deadline for parade entry applications has been extended to March 5. The form can be accessed at www.downtownls.org/parade.
The 2013 Emerald Isle Grand Marshal, Susan Coffman, was chosen for her civic engagement. She recently was selected as the 2012 Citizen of the Year for the City of Lee’s Summit. Coffman volunteers for many organizations, including Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, and works for the nonprofit Lee’s Summit CARES. Accompanying Coffman in the parade are Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson impersonators, who will star in the Forever Kings concerts on March 15 and 16 in Lee’s Summit to benefit Lee’s Summit CARES. Tickets are still available for the concerts (www.lscares.org). Elvis is Lee’s Summit’s own Matt Lewis, who has a highly successful Las Vegas show and career as Elvis.
Back for its second year is the traditional Irish breakfast, which takes place the morning of the parade from 8 to 11 a.m. at Mingle, 209 S.E. Main St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 10 and younger, if purchased in advance by calling 816-246-6598. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. Advanced tickets are recommended.
The Bits O’ Gold Coin Hunt takes place at 10:30 a.m. in Howard Station Park on S.E. Main Street. Children 8 and younger may participate. No registration is necessary. Prizes will be awarded.
More than 40 Downtown retail and specialty stores also will be open throughout the day as they celebrate and showcase spring decor. Downtown restaurant and bars will feature their annual St. Patrick’s Pub Crawl immediately following the Emerald Isle Parade.
The Emerald Isle Parade, hosted by Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, is sponsored by Bank of Lee’s Summit and the Lee’s Summit Journal.
In conjunction with the Emerald Isle Parade, other organizations and businesses are hosting additional events on Saturday, March 16, in Downtown Lee’s Summit:
• Emerald Isle Pub Crawl: Hosted by Downtown Lee’s Summit bars and restaurants, the annual Emerald Isle pub crawl will take place at approximately 1 p.m., following the parade, and will continue into the evening. To purchase an Emerald Isle Pub Crawl T-shirt or for more information, visit any Downtown Lee’s Summit restaurant or bar.
• The Strip 5K to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters: New this year, a 5K event called The Strip Run begins at 7:30 a.m. the morning of the parade, beginning at City Hall. Runners are encouraged to wear extra clothing they are willing to donate. Runners will stop at “Strip Stations” throughout the race course to deposit items of clothing one at a time to donate to charity.
* Head Shave for Hope House: The highest bidders will have the opportunity to shave the heads of members of the community, including local police, firefighters, elected officials and others. Items also are up for bid in a silent auction. All proceeds benefit Hope House. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the head shaving beginning at 2 p.m., at the Fire Fighters Union Hall, 322 S.E. Douglas St., in Downtown Lee’s Summit. For more information or to make a donation, contact John’s Barber Shop at 816-524-1711.