What a team! This will be the 34th Snake Saturday Parade and Festival! It takes a team to put on the parade and festival and yes, they work year around, but especially starting in October through March. The team I am talking about is the Officers, Board of Directors, and the three hired positions of Northland Festivals. There have been many who have served in the capacity of making the parade and festival a huge success since its inception. Many have come and gone, retired, passed on, and/or gave way to the younger generation. The idea behind the parade began with Mickey Finn, Bill Grigsby and two others holding an informal parade in 1984 at the Rodeway Inn, see our history for more information at www.SnakeSaturday.com.
Finn was the leader, the President of Northland Festivals, and the driving force of making Snake Saturday the success it has become for the first 28 years. In 2012, having reached the age of 84, he hand-picked his successor, our current President J. D. Green. Green, and his wife Diana, have been involved with the parade and festival since 1992 as part of the Central Auto Racing Boosters Racecar Show. He was being groomed to take over responsibility for the Festival Area when Finn asked him to be his replacement and to keep the tradition of the parade and festival alive.
Green is supported in this tall endeavor by Vice President Sean Galloway, Secretary Jane Quigley, Treasurer Kelly Sales, and Board Members Pam Lipari, Kelli Votypka, Mike Ramsey, Kathy Paiz, Bob Hiatt, Mark McNelly, and Randee Gannon. Each of them contributes in a huge way!
Sean Galloway has been the Parade Chairman the last five years and is handing the position to Kelly Sales who was born into this position, literally. She has missed one parade in all these years, 1993, because her mother Karen Stover, served as co-Parade Chairwoman for several years and that year was too cold for her daughter.
Pam Lipari works on obtaining volunteers, serves as a Grand Marshal Celebration Chairwoman, and the day of the parade you will find her in the festival area wherever she might be needed.
Mike Ramsey, along with Sean Galloway, leads the Committee Meetings leading up to the big day and has been working the parade almost since the beginning. You will find him near the grandstand the day of the parade assisting in moving along the parade should it slow down.
Another long-time person involved with everything is Jane Quigley. Jane is a long time Chairwoman with the Grand Marshal Celebration, helps with the Lad and Lassie Event, and the day before the parade she decorates the golf carts.
Bob Hiatt is our leader when it comes to the Charity Cookoff. He hustles to get judges (a tough job), coordinates getting the steaks, contacts the entries who cook the steak, and oversees the entire Charity Cookoff.
Kathy Paiz is our Children’s Area coordinator. When it comes to having fun she our gal, bringing back what the children love and always keeping an eye out for new children activities. Remember we strive to have fun free events for the children.
Mark McNelly is new to the Board of Directors, but his input is invaluable as he provides us input from an active NKC businessman perspective.
New to the board this year and representing the city. Kelli Votypka dived in and not only got her feet wet, but she is leading the concession and vendor committee.
We could not be as productive and as benevolent without the help of Board of Director Randee Gannon from North Kansas City Hospital. It was her input which led to the redesigned website.
Finally, we have three very dedicated paid positions assisting us. Diana Green is our Administrative Assistant, even though she told Mickey no, he either did not hear her or he did his best Mickey impression and said Thank you and hung up, and that is how we have Diana working behind the scenes supporting us.
Rose Brown of BJ Management company is our accountant. Starting in December and blasting through March she is busy keeping our books. With the automated processes we have utilized this year it has kept her busy reconciling everything.
Finally, Mindy Hart Davis is officially our publicist, but she does more than just publicity. She will redesign items any of us need, proof read and publish all documents and with all the media outlets. It was her persistence which to led to Fox 4 becoming a part of the Snake Saturday tradition.
You see it takes a team, a community, to put on the parade and festival and all the events leading up to the big day. The city, the police, the fire department, the Public Works Department, our sponsors, the board of directors and officers, our committees, and everyone who lines the streets to enjoy the parade to make Snake Saturday the tradition it has become.