History of Irish Immigration to Kansas

Kansas' history is full of Irish roots, with many communities across the state having significant ties back to their Irish heritage. The Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840s wreaked havoc on the island and motivated numerous Irish citizens to seek new opportunities. For many Irish immigrants, Kansas was an incredibly promising place. When the area became an open territory for permanent settlement in the 1850s, many Irish immigrants saw promise in the fertile lands of Kansas.

Irish Significance in Kansas

Around 11-12% of the population in Kansas has Irish Heritage. Atchison County in Northeast Kansas and Comanche County in Southwest Kansas maintain the highest percentages of citizens with Irish origins. Interestingly, Irish mythology has had a tremendously lasting impact on Kansas and its culture. The beloved Jayhawk (if you're a KU fan) actually comes from Irish traditional folklore! Many of the Irish settlers in Kansas were proud people who have left behind descendants that still celebrate their heritage to this day.

St. Paddy's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is a well-celebrated holiday in Kansas! Numerous communities around the state will be hosting parades and events around the time of March 17th to celebrate Irish history and heritage! Check out our complete list of where to find fun things to do on St. Paddy's Day!

Show Your Irish

This year, Atchison's theme for St. Patrick's Day is Show Your Irish. The event will kick off at 10:30 with the crowning of the grand marshal and the parade will start in the afternoon, around 2 PM, with a pub crawl to follow at 4 PM. Come for the entire day or just for an hour, you'll have a good time no matter what!

Great Bend

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Ladies Night!

While I can only vouch for a "guys' night out," I'm sure the ladies' night in Great Bend is going to be a fun one! Hit up the local restaurants and shops for an enjoyable St. Patrick's Day eve!


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Jig on, Leprechaun!

Feeling a little footloose this March? Salt City Brewery in Hutch certainly is; they'll be hosting 'Jig On, Leprechaun' this year, which is an event perfect for those who like to dance! The brewery will have a raffle with free prizes for the luckiest Irishman in attendance. And did I forget to mention they'll have drink specials too?

36th Annual Parade

Like most parades in Lawrence, this one runs through the heart of downtown on Mass Street. If you haven't been to Lawrence during a parade, you're missing out! The residents of Lawrence have a reputation for putting on some pretty solid parties, and St. Patrick's Day is no exception!


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40th Annual Parade

Watch downtown Leavenworth turn green! The city will celebrate its 40th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade this year and local businesses are ready to bring the festive vibes.

Road Races!

Pack your running shoes before you come to Little Apple for St. Patrick's Day! Manhattan will be hosting its annual Road Race in an effort to "fill with ville with GREEN". Make your pick between a long-distance 10k or a shorter 1-mile walk! 

39th Annual Parade

You won't want to miss the 1 mile long Shawnee St. Patrick's Day Parade! This event comes packed with Irish festivities and a rubber duck race! You'll be able to enjoy Irish music, dancing, and food all afternoon long.


Get ready to head to the Evergy Plaza in downtown Topeka for this year's Irishfest! The event kicks off with a 5k run, but don't worry, soon after the race is over, you'll be able to enjoy the beer garden as a reward!

Benefit Show

Topeka will also have a FREE benefit concert featuring Sloppy But Lucky at the Brass Rail Tavern. Tips will be donated to the Cat Association of Topeka. Come listen to some great Irish folk music and support a good local cause!

Delano Paddy Day Parade

Come to Wichita's Delano Historic District for the St. Patrick's Day Parade! Bring the family to enjoy the Kids Zone and Teen Zone after the parade. The street party will have a food truck rally, a live DJ from 2-5 p.m., and a live band (Big Fat Fun) from 5-8 p.m. 

Learn More About European Heritage in Kansas

European Heritage

Kansas’ reputation as the wheat state began when Russian immigrants brought hard winter wheat with them to their new home.