Final Preps Underway for 42nd Annual Dallas Mavericks St. Patrick's Parade & Festival

The largest St. Patty's event in the southwest kicks off Saturday at 9 a.m.

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About a week away from St. Patrick’s Day, the city of Dallas is getting the party started early on Saturday.

"Every year it just keeps getting better, and better, and better," St. Patrick's Parade Executive Producer Mauricio Navarro said.

Upwards of 125,000 people are expected to fill the streets of Greenville Avenue on Saturday, March 11 for the 42nd annual Dallas Mavericks St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival -- the Mavs have been the presenting sponsor of the parade since 2012 when team owner Mark Cuban stepped in to keep the annual event afloat.

"When you have that kind of sense of family, when you're next to someone you've never met before and you're instantly family because you're at the Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade," Navarro said. "That's what makes it special."

The event, which is free and open to the public, is the largest St. Patrick's Day event in the southwest. It’s also considered the biggest singular event overall in Dallas.

Proceeds from the parade will go toward a scholarship fund for Dallas ISD high school students, created by the Greenville Avenue Business Association. It has awarded over $150,000 to high school seniors in previous years.

"Every year we look forward to one of the biggest events in Dallas, the St. Patrick's Parade, and this year we are thrilled to partner with the Dallas Mavericks to bring that vision to life," said Kevin Vela, board chairman of the Greenville Avenue Business Association, which is spearheading the event. "The Mavs organization has been our number one sponsor for many years and a phenomenal parade partner. We're proud to work together to bring top-notch family-friendly entertainment to the community while making a valuable contribution to DISD high school seniors through our educational scholarship fund."

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who was named grand marshal of this year's parade, said he's confident it will be a safe and fun event.

"I’m a big proponent of just turning up and having fun. I want everyone to turn up and have fun. But we’re going to do it safely. I want to make sure everyone gets home safely," he said.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson poses with the new banner that he will march with in the parade as Grand Marshal

There will be a huge police presence of about 200 officers spread out throughout the Greenville Avenue parade route and festivities area.

"I personally dialed the weather in, and it’s supposed to be great. But don’t come out and act a fool now," warned Mayor Johnson. “Be prepared to obey all the laws. I want to have everyone enjoy themselves responsibly. We’re going to have fun, but we’re not going to tolerate any foolishness."

More than 90 floats will be featured in the parade, along with live music, food trucks, private tailgating areas, a family zone for kids, and an Irish spirit celebration.

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The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The parade itself starts at 11 a.m. and will start on Greenville Avenue just north of Loop 12, running all the way down to SMU Boulevard.

Streets should start closing at 10 a.m. The parade should run until 2 p.m.

Greenville business owners say the parade will be back in full swing for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic as 125,000 people are expected to attend.

People are encouraged to park before 9 a.m. but some attendees park as earlier as the night before, so prepare for a tricky parking situation. Rideshare might also be difficult but organizers are recommending people park or get dropped off in an area further away from Greenville and walk into the event space.

The city is also encouraging people to carpool or use DART bus and rail transit system. Recommended DART Rail stations to arrive at are Mockingbird Station, Lovers Lane Station and Park Lane Station.

On Lower Greenville Avenue the St. Patrick's Block Party, which is not affiliated with the parade, is the biggest day of the year for businesses there.

"It's like a spring party as much as St. Patrick's party...it's brilliant," Dubliner owner Peter Kenny said. "We're kind of ground central on that day...I think everybody does amazing on that day. It's just a good day for everyone. It's great for the city."

Across the street, this St. Patrick's Block Party will be the last for the Blue Goose, which will close its doors next week. "It's bitter sweet," Joseph Huggins of the Blue Goose said. "If we had anything to say it would be thank you. This part and the send-off is more about the people and the great customers...but to send it off the right way this year is gonna be a lot of fun."

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