Show your Irish pride at the 31st Annual Brookside St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade on Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. in the Brookside Shopping District.
More than 100 organizations representing groups and families of all ages participate in this fun, family-oriented event. Parade entries march or ride in a variety of vehicles from red wagons to floats to classic cars. Entries include the MidAmerica Freedom Marching Band, the KC Ukesters Band, drill teams, horses, dogs and more.
The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade is Karl Roscoe. Roscoe was the owner and operator of Roscoe TV for 50 years. Previously a U.S. Army Paratrooper, Karl created Operation Booklift – a program that shipped half a million books to troops during the war in Kuwait.
Since then, Roscoe has become a staple in the Kansas City community. He has been a member of the KC Breakfast Club for 30 years (and past president); member of the Downtown Rotary Club for 23 years (and past president), he is currently the administrator for Wornall Baptist Church and a member of the Waldo Area Business Association. Roscoe has also been a member of the Ararat Shrine for 42 years, and past president of both the Oriental Band and the Ole Cars Unit.
This year, an Honorary Grand Marshal has also been named – Ed Growney. Growney served on the Jackson County Legislature from 1981-1994. While serving in the legislature, Growney held position as chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee from 1989-1992 and was also elected to serve as vice-chairman of the legislature.
Growney was employed with SBC (Southwestern Bell Company) for more than 40 years. He was manager of engineering design upon retirement. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for Truman Medical Center and a member of the Advisory Board for the Senior Companion Program, and presently serves as Historian for the Padraig Pearse Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Kansas City.
Growney graduated from Bishop Lillis High School and was a member of the “Fighting Irish” basketball team. He later attended Rockhurst College. He and his late wife, Beth raised 8 children and is a grandfather to 22 grandchildren. Ed presently resides in the Brookside area and has done so for 43 years.
Growney proudly claims to be 100% of Irish descent. His great-grandparents immigrated from County Meath, Ireland in 1848. He has authored two books about his Irish ancestry.
In addition to the honors of Grand Marshal and Honorary Grand Marshal, parade organizers name one couple “Mr. and Mrs. Irish” each year. For the 2011 parade, this couple is Sheryl and Joe White, Kansas City natives and owners of the Fiddly Fig for the last 25 years.
Sheryl is owner and operator of the Fiddly Fig, which has won Ingram Magazine’s Best of Business Gold Award, and was herself honored to the Woman Who Mean Business class of 2006. Joe is a member of the IBEW Local 124 union, and currently works as an electrical technician with Capital Electric. Both Mr. and Mrs. Irish are proud of their Irish roots. Their names have evolved through generations (White was originally Whyte, and Sheryl’s maiden name is Shannahan) and are excited to participate in this year’s event.
The 31st Annual Brookside St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade route runs through the Brookside shopping district along 63rd Street from Wornall to Main. The parade lasts approximately one and a half hours and is sponsored by the Brookside Business Association and the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourism Fund.
About Brookside Business Association
Brookside, a charming neighborhood in the heart of Kansas City, was originally planned and built in 1920, becoming the city’s first suburban shopping area. Today, Brookside is home to more than 70 shops, restaurants and services, all unique and in keeping with the original neighborhood charm and architecture.
The Brookside Business Association is a voluntary organization whose purpose is to create and preserve a pleasant surrounding for conducting business in Brookside. Located between Wornall and Main Street from 62nd Terrace to Meyer Blvd., Brookside is only minutes from the Plaza, Leawood, South Kansas City and many other Kansas City attractions. Visit www.brooksidekc.org for more information.