Mark your calendars, Dallasites: The 37th annual Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival takes place March 19.
That's not a typo. Ask anyone around Big D and they'll say the Greenville Avenue parade is traditionally the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, but this year, North Texas' biggest green beer-drinking event will occur after the holiday.
With more than 90 floats and 120,000 attendees annually, the Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade is billed as the largest Irish celebration in the Southwest.
So why mess with a good thing?
St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, March 17. The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association, which throws the party, realized that's mighty close to a weekend, and so it decided to move the parade to the following Saturday and extend the debauchery to the days leading up to the event, says executive producer Mauricio Navarro. Essentially, the parade is now the holiday's finale rather than a pre-party.
"Every bar in the Greenville area will have a St. Patrick's theme starting Thursday all the way to Saturday," Navarro says. "We're trying to create a three-day weekend for those businesses."
And there's one other change Navarro is hoping to implement this year:
Throwing tortillas and marshmallows have been tradition at the parade since the Texas Tortilla Queens first let the green discs fly. However, it's become a nuisance, adding hours of clean up and delaying sanitation efforts, Navarro says. Instead of wasting food, this year he is encouraging parade attendees to donate to the North Texas Food Bank. Details are still in the works, but Navarro hopes to set up donation boxes at local Kroger stores.
Does all this shakeup have you feeling hungover already? Don't worry, there's plenty of the quintessential St. Paddy's parade revelry to keep your buzz going.
Here's what you can look forward to:
- A Third Eye Blind concert.
- The event's Family Zone featuring food trucks, kids activities and more will return to the Meadows Building parking lot.
- For a fourth year, the parade is selling tickets to a VIP bleachers section near the Meadows Building. Tickets will be available for purchase online and cost $20.
- The beer festival, which debuted in 2015, will return. Details are being nailed down, but we'll update you once they become available.
Follow Tiney Ricciardi on Twitter at @tineywristwatch.