43rd Annual St Patrick's Day Parade
2018 marks the 43rd annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Cedar Rapids. Every year, since founded in 1976, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Society (SaPaDaPaSo) has put on THE annual parade celebration of Irish heritage and culture in the Corridor and Eastern Iowa. Each year the organization plans three main events: the Irish Hooley Fundraiser, the Parade, and the Post-Parade Awards Ceremony.
The Irish Hooley Fundraiser: Hooley is an Irish term for a lively/boisterous party. The Hooley is held every year during the month of March, generally the first Sunday. This year it will be held on Sunday, March 4 in the Veteran’s Memorial Building on the 2nd Ave Bridge. Doors will open at 1pm – with music from local Celtic band Wylde Nept starting at 2pm.
The 43rd Annual SaPaDaPaSo Parade: The parade begins promptly at 1pm on Saturday, March 17 in downtown Cedar Rapids (Standard Cedar Rapids Downtown Parade Route). There is something exciting for the entire family. The parade features a variety of entries every year, from Antique cars to miniature horses to walking entries. SaPaDaPaSo encourages families and non-profit organizations to participate. Every entry must have an Irish theme. We award entries in such categories as, “Best Commercial,” “Best Costume,” or “Best Walking” and of course, the always popular “Best Bribe!” Each year we have a committee of three guest judges who are generally prominent members of the Corridor community. In addition to our regular award categories and guest judges, we also have five memorial award categories and trophies dedicated to some of our founding and longtime SaPaDaPaSo members who now watch the parade from heaven. These “Memorial Awards” are typically judged by family members of the memorial awards namesake. Judges are sequestered immediately following the parade to make their final decisions. Awards are then presented at the Post-Parade Awards Ceremony.
The Post-Parade Awards Ceremony: The post-parade awards ceremony will be held immediately after the parade at the Flamingo, 1211 Ellis Blvd NW. While waiting for the deliberation of the judges, the SaPaDaPaSo DJ will be playing some of your Irish favorites. In addition, food and beverages will be available for purchase. The awards ceremony should start around 4:30pm.
For more information about the Hooley, the Parade or after-parade awards ceremony visit www.sapadapaso.org.