St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas is bigger than life. In fact, it’s the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Southwest! This year, The Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Taking place on Saturday, March 16, the parade is presented by the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA), a Texas nonprofit organization.
The purpose of the parade is not only to celebrate the holiday, but also to raise money for the GAABA Scholarship Fund. More than $115,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to Dallas Independent School District students.
The Southwest’s largest St, Patrick’s Day parade almost ended before it could gain its legendary status. When the parade first began in 1979, it was nothing more than just a few cars, drinks and a dream. As word spread about this small neighborhood celebration, attendance began to increase. As attendance grew, neighboring residents voiced their concerns about the parade to the Dallas City Council and it was shut down in 1987.
Luckily, a group of local business owners formed the GAABA and fought to persuade the city to accept the parade’s application. The public’s demand for the parade also helped sway the decision to bring it back through their idea of an “un-parade” where make-shift floats read “this is not a parade”. Soon after, the city granted the permit for the 1989 Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Now, 40 years later, the parade continues. This year’s event is sponsored by numerous local radio stations, Comerica Bank, 7-Eleven, iHeartRadio, The Dallas Mavericks, Visit Dallas and many other local businesses.
More than 1,700 people participate in the parade itself and there are more than 90 parade float entries to pass through the 2-mile parade route, overlooking the crowd of 125,000 or more people in attendance. The festival starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m., starting at Blackwell Street and Greenville Avenue before finishing at Yale Boulevard/SMU Boulevard.
After the parade, the festival continues with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Concert. This year will feature performances from Just Like P!nk and more who will cover 40 years of music featuring hits from Guns N’ Roses, Britney Spears, P!nk, Muse, Nirvana, Prince, The Beastie Boys, Queen, Michael Jackson, Salt-N-Pepa, Rage Against the Machine, Aerosmith, Nelly and many more.
Interested in attending this huge St. Patrick’s Day Celebration? Click here for ticket sales.