Ron Thibodeaux directs the Iowa Music & Arts Association “Fun Drummin’” drumline March 12, 2022, during the SAPADAPASO parade in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The group, promoting the return of Tournament of Drums in 2022, won first place in the Best Band/Musical Entry and Jimmy Blake Golden Spoons Award. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Organizers with SaPaDaPaSo — St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society — last year cited a challenge with finding volunteers during the workweek in moving the traditional parade to a day other than St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

The 2023 parade, set for 1 p.m. Saturday, March 11, starting at Sixth Street near Second Avenue SE in downtown Cedar Rapids, marks the second time the parade has been moved to the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

See photos from the 2022 parade.

A snowstorm sweeping through Iowa just two days before the parade has naysayers pointing to the date change as the problem, though the past 48 years since its inception has seen a range of cold, rainy days to warmth with abundant sunshine.

With temperatures forecast for the mid-30s, participating organizations, such as the Czech Royal Court and the award-winning Iowa Music & Arts Association’s Iowa Fun Drummin’ are encouraging their members to dress for the weather, and organizers are recommending the same for parade-goers.

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

In 2021, 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.

More: See photos from the 2021 parade

The Czech Heritage Foundation Czech Royal Court rolls down the St. Patrick’s Day Parade route in 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)