Plans are full steam ahead for Snake Saturday 2022, after two years of COVID turmoil. LUCKY TO BE IN NKC is the theme for 2022. This parade has always been the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, always in North Kansas City, always geared toward family, always a great time! Due to a worldwide pandemic of COVID the past two years have seen the parade cancelled in 2020 and moved to a fall “Spooky” theme this past year. Make plans now for March 12, 2022, as Snake Saturday returns to a “normal” Parade and Festival.
Northland Festivals the organization which coordinates and plans the Snake Saturday events is hard at work. Registration opens at www.snakesaturday.com on January 1, 2022, for parade participants, Lad and Lassie participants, Vendor applications, and Charity Cook Off entries. Additionally, Snake Saturday clothing can be purchased at the website. North Kansas City District High School Art Departments are currently participating in a contest creating a themed design for the 2022 parade.
Snake Saturday, a day which benefits numerous charities and organizations, to the tune of 1.6 million in the first 37 years. Did you know there are four events which make up Snake Saturday? Did you know your participation in any of these events supports the monies given to the various charities?
Let’s begin with the first Snake Saturday event each year, the annual Grand Marshal Celebration. This year’s event will be at Harrah’s on March 3, 2022. The Grand Marshal of the parade is introduced along with the annual Shamrock Award. The Shamrock Award is presented to a volunteer or organization who has been part of Snake Saturday for at least five years. The supporting community provides several donations which are distributed via a silent and/or live auction. All these funds are collected and distributed to the various charities and organizations which make up the parade.
The Saturday before the parade and festival is the annual Lad and Lassie Contest. This is not a talent or beauty contest. Children are judged based on “Irish Spirit” and Charm. Two Age Categories: 2-4-Year-old Lad and Lassie, 5–7-Year-old Lad and Lassie (Contestants will have their birthday by March 1st, 2022, to qualify). Costumes are not required, but an “Irish Flair” is encouraged. Children may dress up in green, their favorite Irish apparel or outfits in line with the yearly theme. Contestants may only win the title in each age division one time. The winners of each group ride in the parade the following week.
The night before Snake Saturday is the annual Charity Cookoff. This is a fund raiser for various 501c3 organizations and all they must do is simply cook a provided a steak, which is then judged by an expert panel of Snake Saturday sponsors, officials, and North Kansas City celebrities. The overall winner receives $1,000 prize.
These events lead to the big day of Snake Saturday. North Kansas City awakes early on Snake Saturday, floats are arriving and staging for the 11 a.m. kick off along Swift Avenue. The festival area is for families to participate before, during, and after the parade with a carnival, children’s petting zoo, children’s stage show, the Clyde Ellis race car show provided by the Central Auto Racing Boosters, and various other activities.
The parade usually has about 60 plus charities, six high school bands, and any number of gorgeous floats, which distinguishes this parade from other parades throughout the country. The parade typically takes about two hours to watch. Another advantage to this parade is the amount of money given back to the charities, from the 501c3 Rainbow group with the first prize of $7,000 to the various organizations and youth groups vying for a $2,000 prize to the school’s clubs and groups who are always working for funds to support their organization, Northland Festivals spreads the money around so that every not-for-profit which takes part in the parade walks away with money. Through 2021 over 1.6 million has been given away. All this win-win effort can be traced to the sponsors and the Northland Festivals family friendly staff.
Both the City of North Kansas City and North Kansas City Hospital are major sponsors of the parade and festivities. Several North Kansas City corporate sponsors have helped along the way, including NT Realty, NKC Beverage, Mid America Contractors, Paul and Jack’s, Country Club Bank, NKC Parks and Recreation Center, Harrah’s, and the NKC Business Council.
From the beginning the parade goal has been to be very family friendly. Northland Festivals desires to not only provide two hours of entertainment with the parade but have something for the family to do the rest of the day as well. To enter a float in the parade, enter a lad or lassie, enter a charity cookoff team, or purchase tickets for the Grand Marshal Celebration visit our website, www.snakesaturday.com.
Lucky to Be in NKC is coming March 12, 2022, let’s have some fun!