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Police mingle with partiers during St. Paddy’s Day patrols

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City police officers proactively patrolled the streets following Friday’s day-long St. Paddy’s Day celebrations across the city.

KCPD increased its numbers in entertainment districts to keep the peace and check for drunk drivers on the roads with several undisclosed sobriety checkpoints.

The focus on safety came after a day of fun to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and the warmer temperatures.

“It’s like Spirit Week, but for adults!” said Molly “Balloons” Munyan.

The balloon artist impressed people with her over-the-top outfit.

“It is fun hearing a dull roar of, ‘Whoa! Look! It`s balloons!’” she said. “And sometimes during the parade, I heard ‘Molly Balloons!’ It just makes my heart so happy!”

Munyan was in good company as many dressed in outrageous outfits, including Shon Hall, who showed up in a big green wig and roller-skates.

“Thirty-seven years I’ve been out here on my roller-skates on St. Paddy`s without fail!” he said. “It is the best day of the year for me! It`s just like my Christmas!”

“Everyone`s excited that it`s finally warm out!” said Kelsey Frey.

Frey and her boyfriend, Austin Knipp, dressed in green head-to-toe to cheer on their favorite NCAA teams.

“It`s been fun!” Frey said. “We started off early. We didn`t make it to the parade because I’m an Oklahoma State fan and I wanted to watch us lose,” she joked.

“This is actually our first holiday together that we get to celebrate,” Knipp said. “So this is the first time we`ve been down here on St. Paddy`s Day and it`s been awesome!”

But amidst the sea of green was also blue, as officers kept a close eye on partiers.

“Anybody that might be up to no good, we`re just more of a presence,” Sgt. Scott Simons said of what his officers look for at the festival. “As long as we`re out here, they see us and most people will conform to what they need to be doing and do the right thing.”

KCPD took the approach of enforcing the laws, while also mingling among the crowd.

“We just love to talk to people, take pictures with them and make this a fun day,” Sgt. Simons said. “We got to be here, they`re here. We might as well have fun too.”