Cloudy skies and scattered drizzle did nothing to hinder the smiles and hollers for beads, candy and other goodies at the 35th annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Greenville Avenue in Dallas.
Beads, beer and blaring rock bands ruled the day. Throw in a couple of personal milestones and you’ve got a lasting memory.
“Today we’ll be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary,” said Sharon Tessen of Sachse with her husband Kurt at her side.“Been coming down here for 25 years.”
90 floats carrying about a thousand people tossing candy and beads create a spectacle that is often matched if not surpassed by folks in the crowd.
Ricardo Ruiz wore a green wig with braided pig tails.
“I found it. My mom braided it and I said I’ll take it to the parade,” said Ruiz who had just run the Dash Down Greenville 5K. “She said you better wear it or you’re not getting dinner, ha, ha.”
“Every year it’s always something different,” said Natasha Cartwright. “I always see something new with the parade floats, always new people here. Me and my family always come every year and we absolutely love it.”
Some families have been coming here since almost the beginning 35 years ago.They remember when you could arrive at 9:00 a.m. and have no problem getting a parking spot.
Luis Patino started setting up his group’s tailgate party at 4:00 a.m.
“Everybody’s here because everybody gets along,” said Patino.“I’ve been coming the past ten years and I’ve yet to see a fight.You got people drinking this and that but you also got your families here and everybody’s just having a good time.”
Three generations of an extended family of about two dozen from Sachse continue a tradition just a few of them started 25 years ago.
“It’s a magnificent event,” said Mary Miller. “We love St. Patrick’s Day and thank the city for doing all the work to make the parade possible.”