The annual SaPaDaPaSo (Saint Patrick's Day Parade Society) Parade is one of Cedar Rapids' greatest traditions. I might even argue it is the absolute best in the city.

Cedar Rapids is often included in the best cities in the entire U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the main reason is because of its incredible parade.

In 2020, it was the first big event canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, everything else followed soon after.

The following year, it was held as a "Drive Through" parade the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

In both 2022 and 2023, the parade moved back to its home in downtown Cedar Rapids. Both times it was held on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

Friday morning, the non-profit SaPaDaPaSo announced the parade will move back to St. Patrick's Day, beginning in 2024.


*Below is the opinion I shared on the possible move on Thursday, November 16.

So here's where my opinion comes in. First off, I understand SaPaDaPaSo holding the parade on a Saturday. Securing the number of volunteers needed to host the annual event on the holiday itself has to be a huge challenge. If you've been to the parade, you've seen firsthand the number of people required to put it on. While I don't know the exact number, it is a big one. Volunteers are seemingly everywhere you look.

Secondly, I also get wanting to host the parade on Saturday so it's easier for kids and families to attend.

However, even though we've only had two years to judge it by, I truly believe the crowds for the parade are larger on St. Patrick's Day. And the number of people spending money in downtown Cedar Rapids throughout the day? Let's just say it's a sea of green partiers nearly all day.

SaPaDaPaSo asked for the community's opinion on what date the annual parade should be held. The overwhelming choice was St. Patrick's Day. The organization agreed with public sentiment and is making the move back to March 17, starting in 2024.

8 Things You Need in the Holiday Spirit of St. Patrick's Day

8 Things You Need in the Holiday Spirit of St. Patrick's Day

Gallery Credit: Mikael Donnovan

The Highest-Rated Cedar Rapids Restaurants on Yelp (September 2023)

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin