Irish KC : A Blog

Kansas City's Irish Festivals, Music, Pubs & Events

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Balloon Characters for KC Irish Parade

New for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Kansas City, are what are being described as "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade style" balloons. There's an adjective that rolls off the tongue.

There are four large balloons available for sponsorship - each one requiring thirty odd balloon handlers, two mid-sized balloons - they need around fifteen or so people to manage them, and three small balloon props which might require around ten people each.

The inclusion of these characters - give or take a big ugly Leprechaun - is a great addition for the parade, long a victim of its early success as a wonderful dowtown neighborhood event. For many years now the KC St Patrick's Day Parade, has been a neighbourhood parade on a city scale.

In neighborhoods, half of the people parade, and the other half watch, and everybody waves at each other. Hey look! There's Mary from next door! However when this gets scaled up to represent an entire metro area, you end up with a parade that's too long, and simply being in the parade isn't a good enough reason to be watched anymore. Mary needs to dance.

The current committee are taking some brave steps at improving the quality of this event so that the wonderful enthusiasm displayed in the participation and spectating every year are harnessed for a greater parade for everybody. Quite simply there are too many Irish people in this city to let every family, business, and organization, that is Irish, together with all the people that belong to them, parade.

Club together and make better floats, pagentry, theatre - just don't walk because you're Irish - that's perfect for our neighborhoods but not good enough for our city. The Parade has long been ready to move onto the next stage.


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