The Emerald Isle Parade brought a festive crowd to downtown Lee’s Summit, with spectators and marchers braving a wet snow and blustery wind.
Saturday’s events included a traditional Irish breakfast served at Llywelyn’s Pub, a sponsor of the event. Children enjoyed a coin hunt.
Madison Baldwin, 8, was one of the lucky ones who snatched one of the gold coins scattered among hundreds of green coins strewn in Howard Station Park. The coin which entitled her to a prize. She went to collect and got a goody bag.
“Look at all that candy,” Madison said.
Donnie Rogers Jr., director of Lee’s Summit Downtown Main Street Inc., which organizes the annual parade, said attendance was notably down from the estimated 5,000 of the previous years. A few of the parade entries canceled, but most of nearly 95 groups and floats still turned out, he said.
However, even with a smaller crowd, Third Street was still lined with people to watch the parade. There was little accumulation as much of the snow melted as it landed.
The Guin Family won best float for its entry “Lucky in Las Vegas,” which portrayed dice, a casino with an Elvis impersonator, David McGehee.
Rachel Hardin, of Lee’s Summit, was there with her three sons, Tucker, 6, Danny, 8, and Riley, 12. They had come the previous two years with her husband and the boys’ father, Wes Hardin, who loved the parade.
He died in December of cancer, Rachel Hardin said, and she and the boys had a strong desire to continue what was becoming a family tradition. She said that even with the cold and snow that discouraged some people from coming, the weather wasn’t awful.
“This is nicer than last year when it was pouring rain,” Hardin said. “Get a warm drink like hot chocolate or coffee and you’re good.”