March 7, 2020

By Julie Cook

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early at the Emerald Isle Parade in Downtown Lee’s Summit on Saturday, March 14th. This community tradition, now in its 15th year, is hosted by Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and presented by ReeceNichols. Attendees may spot a familiar cast of characters from the famous Emerald City, as this year’s parade theme is “There’s No Place Like Home.” Gather along Green, Third or S.E. Main streets in Downtown Lee’s Summit before the parade kicks off at noon. Before the parade, parents can take their little lads and lasses to Howard Station Park for the Bits O’ Gold Coin Hunt at 11:30 a.m. Children 8 and younger may participate in this race to find green and gold coins in the grass at Howard Station Park. No registration is necessary.

Former Lee’s Summit Parks & Recreation Administrator, Tom Lovell, will serve as the 2020 Parade Grand Marshal. Lovell was instrumental in growing Lee’s Summit’s nationally award-winning park system to include 26 parks, 3 community centers, a farm park, water park and several athletic complexes.

In 2019, two years after his retirement, LSPR dedicated the J. Thomas Lovell Jr. Community Center at Legacy Park in his honor. “We’re thrilled to have Tom lead this year’s parade,” said DLSMS board member Emerald Isle Parade committee chair Nick Parker. “Tom took a fledgling city parks department and built what is now a world-class parks system. This is a great way for our organization, and the community, to say thank you and honor him for his nearly 40 years of incredible service to Lee’s Summit.” Lovell shared “It is a great honor to be selected to follow in the parade history of distinguished Grand Marshals. My family and friends are all excited to be a part of this festive day.”

Parade entries will vie for one of four coveted awards, to be presented by Master of Ceremonies Erin Little from KCTV5 at the judges stand at Third and Green streets. Immediately following the parade, attendees are welcome to stick around for Emerald Isle Pub Crawl, which will continue into the evening. Visit any of the bars in Downtown Lee’s Summit to purchase an Emerald Isle Pub Crawl T-shirt and lanyard for $10.

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The Emerald Isle Parade is presented by ReeceNichols, and sponsored by Cable Dahmer Automotive Group, Summit Video Services, and Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.