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No blarney—St. Pat's Day is a big deal

Created date

February 26th, 2009

By Jan Landon

THE ERICKSON TRIBUNE

"May your blessings outnumber

The shamrocks that grow,

And may trouble avoid you

Wherever you go."

Irish blessing

On St. Patrick s Day, almost everyone wants to be Irish, and in fact, more than 36 million Americans claim Irish ancestry.

Kansas City has long claimed to have one of the country s largest parades for the occasion, which is the city s biggest single-day event.

A parade before the parade happens each year in the Kansas City neighborhood of Brookside. The 2009 Annual St. Patrick s Warm-Up Parade will begin at 2 p.m. on March 14. This is an event focused on family. For more information, go towww.brooksidekc.org. Brookside is about 13 miles from Tallgrass Creek.

The 36th annual Kansas City St. Patrick s Day Parade will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 17 in the Kansas City Westport neighborhood. This is the first year that the parade is being held in Westport instead of downtown. The 1.3-mile parade is expected to have 400,000 spectators. For more information, go to www.kcirishparade.com. Westport is about 18 miles from Tallgrass Creek.

Fun facts about being Irish

St. Patrick s Day was originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century.

The world s first St. Patrick s Day parade was on March 17, 1762, in New York City.

There were 36.5 million U.S. citizens who claimed Irish ancestry in 2007. That is more than eight times the population of Ireland.

Among Americans, Irish is the second most frequently reported ancestry. German is the most common.

There were $26.2 billion in U.S. imports from Ireland between January and October 2008. The U.S. exported $7.4 billion worth of goods to Ireland.

There are four places in the U.S. named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland: Mount Gay-Shamrock, W. Va.; Shamrock, Tex.; Shamrock Lakes, Ind.; and Shamrock, Okla.

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