SaPaDaPaSo ‘drive-thru’ parade to take place Saturday at Hawkeye Downs
After cancelling for the first time ever last year because of the pandemic, the annual SaPaDaPaSo Parade will go on this year.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After cancelling for the first time ever last year because of the pandemic, the annual SaPaDaPaSo Parade will go on this year. The 46th annual Saint Patrick’s parade will take place this Saturday at the Hawkeye Downs racetrack, drive-thru style.
The parade will start at 2 p.m. SaPaDaPaSo organizer Michelle Lochner said it was absolutely the right decision to cancel last year’s parade, but they didn’t want to cancel a second year in a row.
People attending can drive around the racetrack in their vehicles and view all the stationary parade entries.
She says for some stations, the parade drive-thru style will be beneficial.
“We normally have Irish dancers at the front of the parade, and you know, that proves to be a little bit of a challenge to walk and dance at the same time. So for them, this is going to be a lot easier,” Lochner said.
In a normal parade year, parade organizers cut entries off at 100. This year there are around 30 entries, which Lochner said ensures social distancing.
Lochner said this year’s parade will be one-of-a-kind and no candy will be thrown out, but the first 200 cars will get a ‘swag bag’ filled with goodies.
Jenn Draper is the Executive Director for Hawkeye Downs and said the past year has forced them to be innovative when it comes to hosting events, like this year’s SaPaDaPaSo parade.
“It’s really exciting for us to see people continue to think about that creative use of space and how we can use something like a racetrack for a non-traditional event. And that’s something I think will carry us a long way past the pandemic,” Draper said.
Draper foresees more drive-thru style events in the future at Hawkeye Downs, especially during the winter months. She said the parade is one of the more high profile events they’ve hosted during the pandemic.
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