History of Snake Saturday Parade & Festival

The history of how St. Patrick's Day parade’s evolve, are often as interesting as the parade itself. Snake Saturday Parade & Festival in North Kansas City, MO is no exception.  


Parade Founder Mickey Finn tells the story of how Snake Saturday came to life in 1983. The concept started as a promotion for Rodeway Inn. The parade consisted of four floats and a Grand Marshal and co-founder named Bill Grigsby. The temperature outdoors was about ten degrees, so the parade was to take place in the motel parking lot allowing people to view from their rooms and the coffee shop. The parade winner that year was a young lady, who rode on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle wearing a bright green bikini. Following the parade, the mayor of North Kansas City turned to me and said, “We might as well take it to the street next year.” And we did. The parade has celebrated every year thereafter, regardless of weather conditions and always on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

Decades later, Snake Saturday Parade & Festival has become the largest family fun Irish celebration in the area, which also generates an enormous amount of exposure and charitable donations to benefit local non-profit organizations. Finn explains the process started after we invited non-profit businesses to build floats and compete for prize money. The response was overwhelming and community involvement soared to new heights. Our goal has been to not make a lot of money on the parade, but to generate funds to share with our local non-profits. Each year Snake Saturday Parade & Festival awards cash prizes to some 50 –100 local charities that participate in the festivities. 

To date, Snake Saturday Parade & Festival boasts an array of entertainment all day long. The continued success of Snake Saturday Parade & Festival has been made possible by wonderful, dedicated people, businesses, schools, police, fire, city staff, donors, volunteers, planners, participants and sponsors including North Kansas City, North Kansas City Hospital, North Kansas City Beverage and many more. Our communities’ commitment to keeping these festivities safe and fun for the whole family has cultivated our success and has put us on the map as one of the best parade celebrations in the Midwest region. 

Photo: Sports Commentator Bill Grigsby and Snake Saturday Founder Mickey Finn.