A wee bit of Ireland is coming to Belton this weekend.
Rain or shine, the 33rd Annual Wendell T. Ivers St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday on Main Street, followed by a party at the VFW Post 8220.
Darin Jones, who grew up in Belton, said the parade tradition started in 1984 when he was a senior in high school. The parade went past Western Auto, where Jones worked as a young adult. Now Jones is a part of a small group of private citizens who organize the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration for hundreds of spectators.
“We try to keep it simple and we want everyone to have fun,” Jones said.
Participants in the parade are scheduled to line up at 4 p.m. at Memorial Park, with the parade starting at 5 p.m. The parade is expected to last 45 minutes to an hour.
Jones said the Maurer family will serve as this year’s parade marshal.
Dodie and Joe Maurer came to Belton in 1963 and had five children, Belton High School graduates. Joe Maurer, a former editor and owner of The Belton Star-Herald, died in 1985.
Dodie Maurer served as the executive director of the Belton Chamber of Commerce. She is currently a board member and past president of the Belton Historical Society.
Last year, she received the lieutenant governor’s Senior Service Award.
Like the family matriarch, several members of the Maurer family have remained active in the Belton community.
A party at the VFW will follow Saturday’s parade. The party will feature live music from Blarney Stoned, a raffle and silent auction. Brats, hotdogs, corned beef and cabbage will be available as well as a full cash bar. The event is open to all ages.
Parade committee members are also collecting donations. Funds raised during this Saturday’s parade and party will go toward the VFW and Heart-n-Hand Ministries in Belton. Last year, the committee donated $1,500 to Heart-n-Hand.
For more information, call Jones at 816-419-6508 or Randy Ivers at 816-309-8436, or visit the Belton St. Patrick’s Day Parade group page on Facebook.
More St. Patrick’s Day events coming up
The annual Emerald Isle Parade in downtown Lee’s Summit is Saturday.
This year, the parade will have its own official leprechaun.
David Hunter, born to the role with red hair and beard, will don costume and lead the parade that is expected to bring thousands of visitors to downtown Lee’s Summit for the annual revelry, which starts with a traditional Irish breakfast and ends with a pub crawl.
A traditional Irish breakfast at Llywelyn’s Pub will be from 8 to 11 a.m. Advance tickets are $15 and $20 at the door.
The Pot ‘O Gold Coin Hunt for children 8 and younger will start at 11:30 a.m. at Howard Station Park downtown.
The parade starts at noon, traveling north up at Eighth and Green streets, turns west on Third Street, then goes north on SE Main Street. This year’s parade theme is “Feelin’ Lucky” and entrants are to include marching bands, color guards, dance teams, floats and more. Former Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Bruns is grand marshal this year.
The pub crawl starts after the parade is finished at around 1:30 p.m.
This event is presented by Llywelyn’s Pub and sponsored by Amtrak Missouri RiverRunner, Down to Earth Services, Lee’s Summit Journal, Truman Medical Center – Lakewood, and Weed Man.