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January 22, 2009

St. Pat’s parade route

As an “old,” 100 percent Irishman, I have to put in my 2 cents’ worth about the St. Patrick’s Day parade (1/19, A-1, “St. Pat’s parade relocates”). Kansas City’s original St. Patrick’s Day parade was a riot. Sweet Dan Hogerty accompanied by Monsignor Arthur Tighe and Mike Murphy pulling a trash bin was an unforgettable sight. It was front-page news with a picture of Hogerty and the good Monsignor as “grand marshals.”

Being a portrait painter, I painted Monsignor Tighe from that photo, and it was purchased by five families from Visitation Parish as a gift to celebrate the late Monsignor Tighe’s Diamond Jubilee. What a blessing!

I’m thrilled that the parade route has been changed. I think it’s a very positive move and will attract many more people.

Patti Gilmer Weinrich Davis
Overland Park

From 1985 to 2000, I ran the Italian Gardens restaurant, which was the unofficial ending spot for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade idea was hatched by Dan Hogerty, Mike Murphy and Carl DiCapo at the famous round table in the Italian Gardens. The first parade ran from 11th and Baltimore to 12th and Baltimore (Hogerty’s bar).

The party was so much fun that a lot of my friends would annually come from as far away as San Francisco and Dallas to attend. My dad had a group that would come from Sandusky, Ohio. Those guys had come to Kansas City for the NAIA a basketball tournament since the ’50s and just incorporated the parade into their trip because they were Irish.

That St. Patrick’s Day parade provided me with a tremendous number of fond memories, and I’m glad the tradition continues. But with the Italian Gardens being gone from downtown, it just makes sense to move the parade.

Most of the Irish always ended up at Kelly’s anyway. They’ll just get there a little sooner without making that stop at that famous Italian restaurant.

Good luck, Irish!

John David DiCapo
Kansas City



I'm Irish 100% also,not religious,but love to party on saint pats day. I also love the christmas holiday.I don't believe Jesus was devine, or born from a virgin, and all that stuff that rome dubbed on him hundreds of years after his death. I see these things as an American tradition and enjoy them as such. saint Pat was excomunicated for not following the dogma to the letter. He let the Irish incorporate some of there "pagan" beliefs into catholic religion.Don't make mountains out of mole hills people.


Why is it nutty? People celebrating religious holdidays that are anti-religion are nutty. St. patrick's day is it not a Catholic festivity? If so, only Catholics should be allowed to participate. Why would Athiests celebrate or even acknowledge Christmas? It makes no sense.


Considering that Cordish is now trying to convince Jackson County that the vaulation of their project is only $12/sf, and Westport currently appraises at about $150/sf, the facilties in Westport should be about 10 times better.

Here's the kicker. If Cordish succeeds in getting that ridiculous valuation agreed to, it will only worsen the TIF scenario for KCMO (since property taxes are a big part of TIF). This could end up being a good example of what happens when you eliminate any sort of requirements for the developer to have exposure on the bonds.

KCMO may never learn...


I think this is great as well. As the original article indicated, this area was traditionally Irish and landmarks such as Brown's Market and Kelly's of Westport stillo stand today. Plus I am happy for several of my friends who are bar owners in the area. Between the big box chains of Power and Light, the smoking ban (yes proponents, it has hurt business and if you think otherwise you do not have a clue), and the general state of the economy, they reall need this shot in the arm.


Never been to the St Pats Parade, my job on that day is to drop my wife and the granddaughters off and pick them up later.


I agree that this is a victory for Westport over the P&L. I think the special liquor license is a disgrace(more of Kate Barnes anything for a deal), and if one should have it all should have it. The administration gave Cordish a lot of power, and it is obvious they don't mind holing the city hostage by the investment of money and hopes.


That paragraph is just nutty.




Shouldn't his holiday be banned, it is again involves religion? I always wonder why non-christians and in the cse of this holiday non-catholics are allowed to celebrate religious holidays. Maybe we should celebarate Ramadan too.


It seems that Westport scored a direct hit in their battle with Cordish over open-air liquor licenses.

If you haven't been following the issue, Cordish (the P&L developer) right now has the only open-air liquor license in the state, which allows patrons to walk between establishments (on public property) with open containers of alcohol. Other districts in the state (Westport and a few around St. Louis) have applied to the state to be allowed to do the same thing during special events. Cordish, in their infinite wisdom) has fought this tooth and nail, and has threatened lawsuit against KCMO if they support the measure.

Westport hasn't taken this lying down, and since Cordish stubbed the parade organizers last year by fighting any route through their development, it appears as though Westport has found a way to fight back. Good for them. I'd bet the bars in P&L will be a whole lot emptier this year.

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