More than 125,000 people are expected to turn out along Greenville Avenue for the 35th annual Dallas St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 15, 2014. This year the Dallas Maverick's bought the naming rights to the parade, which makes since since owner Mark Cuban has been making generous contributions to keep the annual parade going for a couple of years now.
This year the parade is taking a more kid-friendly theme and will be good for "leprechauns of all ages," according to the Dallas Morning News.
Here's what you need to know to survive the crowds... and your own drinking habits.
RE-ROUTING: The parade begins at 11 a.m. and travels south on Greenville Avenue. It begins at Greenville at Blackwell Street and ends at SMU Boulevard. Here's the parade's official Facebook page. Roads on and near the parade route will close by at least 10 a.m. While there will be plenty of police and signage to make sure you don't run into one of the 90 floats, 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: Hitting the parade after-party on Lower Greenville? Parking is, and has always been, the scourge of Lower Greenville, so pay extremely close attention to posted signs -- temporary no parking signs have already gone up in the area and resident parking only signs are posted 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, Uber Dallas is providing first-time riders free rides (up to $20 off) with the code 'LUCKYUBERDAL' and there's always 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, Lovers Lane Station or Park Lane Station are convenient and easy ways to make sure you're not taking up parking space, nor drinking and driving. Free Monster Energy Drinks will be offered at all three DART stops. Shuttles to the party will be available at DART's Mockingbird Station (click here for more information on DART's "Top O' the Morning" S. Pat's Day plans). Taxi stands will also be posted on Greenville Avenue at the conclusion of the event. Click here for DART's On The Go. In the Know Travel Tools and Apps
DRINK RESPONSIBLY: No alcohol can be brought to the event area, and Dallas police will be enforcing all city ordinances, such as 6-6.1, which addresses public consumption of alcohol, especially outside the designated area of the block party. As in years past, officers will exercise some discretion with enforcement, but don't push your luck of the Irish. Also watch fro TxDOT's Segway street team, they'll be handing out education materials as part of the "DWI Hangovers Don't Go Away" campaign.
PARTY AFTER THE PARADE: This isn't a "watch and leave" parade -- Lower Greenville businesses, restaurants, bars, and music venues will all be ready for the day-long party. 15,000 are expected for the block party that runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nearby bars stay open until 2 a.m. Click here for list of events
KID-FRIENDLY THEME: Mavs Corner, featuring children’s activities, will be outside the Meadows Building on Greenville Avenue between Milton Street and University Boulevard. Champ and the Mavs Man, as well as Mavs Cheerleaders and the Mavs ManiAACs are expected to be there. (Parents, heads up, the next event on this list seems to be within earshot of the little ones)
IT'S SHOW TIME: Starting at noon in the Energy Square parking lot (corner of Greenville and University), the Dallas Observer and House of Blues Entertainment will present a 21-and-up concert headlined by rapper Ludacris.
BE READY FOR RAIN:
Green-tinted beer might be in-season for the party, but don't forget to sip something other than spirits. Bring cash to buy bottled water from the street vendors or bring your own. The high Saturday will be 69 degrees. NBC 5's meteorologists are calling for clouds and drizzle in the morning and a 70 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms by afternoon and evening. Click here for the NBC 5 Meteorologists' written forecast
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!