The St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns to downtown Cedar Rapids in 2022 after a two-year hiatus. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — After a two-year hiatus, a time-honored tradition is back, as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns to downtown Cedar Rapids.

Known as SaPaDaPaSo, for St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society, the event is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, March 12, 2022, diverging from its longtime tradition of being held March 17, on St. Patrick’s Day.

This year might not have been the best for the change, with temperatures forecast below freezing on Saturday, while next week should feel more like spring, but organizers have said finding volunteers during the work week has become more challenging in recent times.

The parade starts at Sixth Street and Third Avenue SE, turning onto Second Avenue, before returning at First Street and Third Avenue and ending near Greene Square at Fifth Street SE.

As COVID-19 pandemic concerns elevated in March 2020, organizers decided to cancel the parade, which had been held, rain or shine, since 1976.

Last year, before COVID-19 vaccine was widely available, the parade was moved to Hawkeye Downs in southwest Cedar Rapids, where organizers held “the first and last, one of a kind race track parade.”

Spectators stayed in their vehicles and drove around to view parade entries that remained stationary inside the track.

See photos from the 2021 parade

Following the end of this year’s parade, an awards ceremony and celebration will be held at The HarMac industrial event space, 411 Sixth Ave SE.

Food from County Line Catering and beverages will be available for purchase.

The free event is open to the public. Parade awards will be handed out about 4:30 p.m. when judges results are in.

More: See photos of a past St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has attracted crowds of thousands of spectators to downtown Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)