Popular Paddy's Parade Adds Family-Friendly Fun

Dallas businesses are getting ready for one of the biggest parties of the year.

More than 125,000 people are expected to cram Greenville Avenue Saturday morning for the 35th annual Saint Patrick's Day parade.

The parade starts on Greenville and Blackwell Street and stays straight on Greenville until it ends at SMU Boulevard. The barricades are already lined up along the sides of the road, ready to be moved into place early Saturday morning.

New for this year; Milton Street near Lover’s Lane will become "Mavs Corner." That section of Greenville Avenue will be dedicated to a family-friendly experience, with balloon animal artists, face painting, food trucks, and games.

"We don't think you can't be kid-friendly and have something where young adults can have fun and celebrate. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. We want to create something for everyone," said Kevin Vela, who helped organize the parade.

Since the Dallas Mavericks bought the naming rights to the parade, the kid-friendly "Mavs Corner" on Milton Street will also feature appearances by the ManiAACs and the Dallas Mavericks Dancers.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of opportunities to drink and get crazy.

"We're not trying to move away from that. What we're trying to do is add something that other people can come in and enjoy," Vela said. "If the effect is that it curtails the excess partying a little bit, then that's OK."

Delivery guys are making never-ending loops today between all the Greenville Avenue bars, groceries, and liquor stores -- lugging 100-pound kegs of beer everywhere they go.

"This is obviously going to be the biggest week of the year. It always is. Every year it seems to get better," said ParkIt Market owner Tony Todora.

The Greenville area party has a hard-earned reputation for hard-partying and drunkenness. For places that sell booze, that means a lot of cash.

"It’s by far the biggest day of the year. 15 times bigger than any other day of the year. Seriously," Todora said.

The store's vault was full of beer kegs by 8 a.m. Friday where 250 kegs lined the refrigerator from wall to wall. For the rest of the day, the delivery guys had to leave the kegs in the middle of the store where customers could pick them up.

Todora said kegs sell for $100-$120, and most of his 500 kegs are already paid for.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

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