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Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins Saturday at 11 am

DALLAS – Up to 100,000 spectators are expected to attend the 33rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebration Saturday, beginning at 11 am.

What began as a little neighborhood whoop-de-do has turned into a full-blown, raucous procession with colorful costumes, bands, clowns, leprechauns and some 100 floats cruising down a 2-mile stretch of Upper Greenville Avenue.

If you see Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, thank him for his donation to the parade’s sponsor, the Greenville Avenue Business Association; it helped make the event possible this year.

Plan on driving in that area that day? You should know that Southbound Greenville Ave. closes at 9 am; other streets close at 10 am. Streets will reopen when police decide it’s safe.

PARADE

The Upper Greenville Avenue parade will feature about 90 floats, bands and other entries, along with sports announcers Mark Elfenbein and Richie Whitt as grand marshals. It’s organized by the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

When and where: It begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and lasts about two hours, running from Wellons Drive south to SMU Boulevard.

Cost: Free.

How to get there: If you don’t want to deal with street parking, take DART light rail to the Mockingbird, Lovers Lane or Park Lane stations.

BLOCK PARTY

The Lower Greenville block party toasts the Irish with food, drink, DJs and bands. It’s organized by the Greenville Commerce Association.

When: It runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday between Vickery Boulevard and Vanderbilt Avenue.

Cost: $10 cover charge

How to get there: Street parking is limited throughout the neighborhood. Violators will be ticketed and tow trucks will be on standby. A free shuttle will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. between the block party and Mockingbird Station, where you can park your car or arrive by DART light rail. Cabs will be available when the party ends.

Rules: No coolers or containers of any kind will be allowed on the shuttle or allowed to be carried into the party.

SPECTATOR RULES

No camping and sleeping overnight near the parade route.

Parking vehicles overnight to reserve space will not be allowed.

Propane and butane grilling is prohibited. If charcoal is used at a tailgate party, a fire extinguisher must be on hand.

No parking along the frontage road of North Central Expressway.

Spontaneous stages, bands and DJ setups are banned.

No unlicensed selling or serving of alcohol.

SOURCES: Jake Levy, parade organizer and manager of Desperados Mexican Restaurant; Steve Betzelberger, party organizer and former owner of Stan’s Blue Note; Lori Chance, manager of the city’s Office of Special Events

Photo by Rex C. Curry

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