More than 90,000 people are expected for Lower Greenville's annual St. Paddy's Day festivities on Saturday, March 12, 2011. Here's what you need to know to survive the crowds ... and your own drinking habits.
RE-ROUTING: The parade travels south on Greenville Avenue between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., but streets will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. While there will be plenty of police and signage to make sure you don't run into a float, trying to drive around the area will be an exercise in patience. Re-route significantly if you're just passing through the area to avoid the traffic or head out as early as 7 a.m. to find a legal parking spot and a good place to watch the parade.
PRIME PARKING: Parking is the scourge of Lower Greenville, so pay extremely close attention to posted signs and regulations on parking in neighborhood areas. Carpooling is a great idea for parking reasons, but it's not the only option -- there are other ways to get to the festivities, including DART (this makes for a nice transition ...).
FORGET THE CAR: If you live in Dallas, do the rest of the Metroplex a favor and don't drive to the party. Jumping on a DART train to Mockingbird Station or Lovers Lane Station are convenient and easy ways to make sure you're not taking up parking space, nor drinking and driving.
CLOSING TIME: Dallas police plan to step up enforcement of the city's open-container ordinances, specifically in the block party this year. You could get a $250 fine if you're not careful, so make sure your bottles have a top. Read more here.
LONG TIME COMING: This ain't no "watch and leave" parade -- Lower Greenville businesses, restaurants, bars, and music venues will all be ready for the day-long party. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., portions of Greenville Avenue will be closed so revelers can walk (or stumble) across the streets.
IT'S SHOW TIME: Starting at noon in the Energy Square parking lot (corner of Greenville and University), the Dallas Observer and a host of other sponsors will present a concert headlined by The Toadies. Bands Ume, Ishi, True Widow, and Here Holy Spain will play before the Toadies' 4:30 p.m. start time. Tickets are $12 ahead of time, or $20 at the door.
Additionally, the Granada Theater will have live music all-day long on the patio, then cap the night off with Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, Taddy Porter, and The Happen-Ins. Tickets for the "after-party" inside Granada are $15.
PSA -- WATER YOU WAITING FOR?: Green-tinted beer might be in-season for the party, but don't forget to sip something other than spirits. The weather won't warm up to the heat we've seen in years past, but party-goers should remember you don't need heat to be dehydrated. Bring cash to buy bottled water from the street vendors, or bring your own.
Going to the party? Send in your photos of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll highlight the best in a gallery and on the air!