The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade is much more than a one-day event. In addition to bringing a bit o' the green to Downtown Lawrence, Kansas, each March, yearly, the Committee runs more than 10 events to raise money for Douglas County area children's charities. Since our founding in 1988, we have donated more than $1.2 Million to charity. This doesn't even count our Sully's Pot of Gold emergency fund which yearly gives up to $5,000 to individuals or organizations across the community who find themselves with a temporary need.
Our committee is made up of 100+ people from across the Lawrence community. We are an all-volunteer committee that is led by a board of 10 individuals. If you would like to join our committee, we would welcome your support.
Our Success Depends on You! We couldn't do what we do without Lawrence and its incredibly generous business community. We thank you, the many members of our community, for your contributions and your participation throughout the years.
In the coming days, please take the time to be a part of the special events sponsored by the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee as a volunteer, a participant or just to cheer on friends and family. We look forward to seeing everyone at the St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17th.
A Wee Bit of Our History
The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade began in 1988 when group of friends of Irish heritage sat in a local pub enjoying a frothy pint. Finbar Collins, Bill Sullivan and Wink Guenther collaborated with local businessmen Wes Kabler, Gene Shaughnessy and Mike Jones to hatch the plan that would become a long-standing tradition in Lawrence
On March 17, 1988, snow and sleet greeted the parade participants, yet the determined Irish spirit prevailed. With Uncle Wesley on his white steed, the floats and parade attendants braved the wicked weather and completed their trek.
It was a special day all around as Alan Johnson and Terri Wilson exchanged wedding vows while balancing atop their float! The weather didn’t cooperate, but the Irish spirit and the charity of the community was not dampened. That year the Fraternal Order of Police donated $800 to The March of Dimes on behalf of the parade. The following year they doubled their donation, this time giving Cottonwood $1800.
By 1990, the Committee was set on the idea of running our parade as a charitable event, with the charter that all money raised is for local children's organizations.
Our first parade route was from The Flamingo (in north Lawrence) to the Jet Lag Lounge (on 6th and Florida). In year two, we moved to our current route, starting in South Park and ending at the Flamingo. Our parade is family friendly, and passionate about making sure even the youngest in our audience is dazzled by more than 100 floats riding down Mass Street.