Chalk it up to the luck of the Irish (or a profound love of Irish libations), but every spring, Dallas-Fort Worth goes green in the name of St. Patrick's Day. And because this is Texas, we do it up big.
March 17 falls on a Saturday this year, so it's bound to be an eventful weekend. Here are five local holiday celebrations you don't want to miss.
Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival
The most important thing to remember about Big D's famous St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Now in its 39th year, the event starts at 11 a.m. with a parade that travels south on Greenville Avenue from Blackwell Street to SMU Boulevard. But if you want a good spot from which to take in the action -- namely, the throwing of beads, tortillas, marshmallows and Jell-O shots -- you'll want to get there several hours early. (Note that you aren't supposed to throw things at the parade, so you've been warned.)
There are a few attractions set up along the parade route, such as the Mavs Corner (near the CVS at Lovers Lane), which will have food trucks and a Mavs retail pop-up shop. Thirsty? Hit the Brew Fest in the Office Depot parking lot at Lovers Lane, where Wylie-based brewery Good Neighbor Brews will be pouring pints and a DJ will be spinning. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis in the Comerica Bank Family Zone, also near Lovers Lane.
After the parade, cruise on down to Lower Greenville for the St. Patrick's Day Block Party, which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features live music on three stages. Entry to that 21-and-older event costs $12, though there are going to be plenty of other free happenings at bars and restaurants in the area.
The neighborhood is also known as a house party hot spot on St. Patrick's Day, so feel free to stop in someone's front yard for a game of cornhole.
Pro tips: Keep a cup of some sort with you, as open containers are not permitted on Greenville Avenue. And if you're going to call an Uber, walk a couple blocks off the main drag to be picked up. Cars are no match for the foot traffic on Greenville Avenue during this holiday.
Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, March 17 at 11 a.m. The Lower Greenville Ave. St Patrick's Day Block Party runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Avenue intersection. $12 at the gate.
Cowtown Goes Green
If you're looking for a family-friendly holiday celebration, consider going to Fort Worth for the free Cowtown Goes Green festival. On Saturday, March 17, the historic stockyards will host live music, armadillo races, Irish dancing, a petting zoo, face painting and staged gunfights for kids to enjoy. At 4 p.m., the cattle drive comes through the area followed by a special Western-Irish-themed parade to cap off the day.
March 17 from noon to 5 p.m. at Stockyards Station, 130 East Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. Free.
A week of beer drinking at Shannon Brewing Co.
Beer is a staple among St. Patrick's Day celebrations -- and we're not talking about the green kind. Head to Shannon Brewing Co. in Keller, where founder Shannon Carter's Irish heritage is ingrained in the suds. The brewery makes its beer using an old-world technique called fire-brewing, unique because it requires a fire to heat the equipment rather than more common methods like steam or electricity.
Shannon Brewing Co. is celebrating St. Patrick's Day from March 14-18 with special events such as trivia night, special tappings, a screening of Leprechaun and a daylong party with beer and live music on the actual holiday. Many of the events are free to attend, though some, including the festival, require a ticket.
March 14-18 at Shannon Brewing Co., 818 N. Main St., Keller. Free to $40.
St. Paddy's Pickle Parade and Palooza
Mansfield's unique holiday celebration is kind of a big dill. The Pickle Parade and Palooza is a two-day party in downtown featuring live music, family fun and appearances by Pickle Queens. Really.
The festivities kick off Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. with keg races and a country concert. Then Saturday, March 17, the palooza is in full force, beginning with a baby parade at 10 a.m., a pet parade at noon and the pickle parade at 1 p.m., followed by pickle-eating contests and more live music. The best part? All the attractions are free to attend.
March 16-17 in downtown Mansfield. Free.
St. Patrick's Day Festival and Shamrock Run at Tupps Brewery
Bring your beer-drinking attitude for this daylong St. Patrick's Day party at Tupps Brewery. The celebration starts with a Shamrock Run 5K at 9 a.m., followed by a free festival with Irish bands, bagpipers, a green-beer dunk tank, food trucks and more. There will also be a kid's play zone, so feel free to bring the whole fam.
March 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tupps Brewery, 721 Anderson St., McKinney. Free.