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
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