The leprechauns are working full time in anticipation of Dallas' annual St. Patrick's Day blow-out, with four back-to-back events that will take over Greenville Avenue on Saturday, March 16.
Here's a minute-by-minute schedule, along with important details on road closures, best ways to get there, and where to go:
8 am: The festivities begin bright and early at 8 am with St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville, a 5K race that starts at 5200 Greenville Ave. (south of Lovers Lane). The route proceeds north on Greenville Avenue, turns right onto Caruth Haven Lane, left onto Southwestern Boulevard, right onto Skillman Street, right onto East University Boulevard, and right onto Greenville Avenue on the northbound curb lane, before returning to the start/finish line. Cleanup will conclude at 10:30 am.
The Facebook page says that 1,843 people are interested, but when you factor in the Facebook failure rate, that's probably about 1,000 runners, dressed in green, racing towards beer and happiness.
9 am: The annual Dallas Mavs 40th Anniversary St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival picks up the baton at 9 am, beginning at Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street, a block or so north of Northwest Highway. It heads south and stops at Yale/SMU Boulevard, spewing disposable shiny green plastic beaded necklaces along the way. That's definitely something we should try to save and recycle from year to year, but that would mean finding a place in your apartment to store them, so it's probably not gonna happen.
Greenville Avenue will be closed from Park Lane to Mockingbird Lane from 9 am-4 pm. Southbound Matilda Street will be closed from Milton Street to Sandhurst Lane for employee parking from 8 am-noon. And there's no parking from 8 am-4 pm along the parade route, or on the Central Expressway service road from Mockingbird Lane to Park Lane. Also no parking in the Meadows Building or the CVS and Office Depot parking lots.
12 noon: From there it's on to the St. Patrick’s Day Concert, which if you scan real quick looks like it has a killer lineup of Guns 'N' Roses, Britney Spears, and more. But no. The concert is a tribute to 40 years of music, with four cover bands — Just Like Pink, The Nirvana Experience, M80s, and Poo Live Crew — singing hit songs.
The concert is at 5701 Mockingbird Ln., on the south side of the Matilda bridge, and is an all-ages show, and if you're nice you won't bring your dog, because loud noises can hurt their ears.
9 am: For those who want to go directly to the action, do not pass go, the Lower Greenville St. Patrick's Day Block Party begins concurrently at 9 am, between the 2800 and 2900 block of Greenville Avenue, IE Vanderbilt Avenue and Vickery Boulevard. Northbound and southbound traffic on Greenville Avenue will be detoured east to Matilda Street, and all of the streets in the M Street area will become one-way.
Hosted by the Vanderbilt to Vickery Association, the Block Party runs from 9 am-7 pm, and includes access to three music stages. Participating bars include Stan's Blue Note, The Grape, Terilli’s, Dodie’s Reef, Blue Goose Cantina, Halcyon, Slater’s 50/50, and last but not least, The Dubliner.
The event is $15 and is open only to those 21 and over with a valid ID. No backpacks, large purses, containers, or coolers are allowed.
If you're a baller, there are also VIP and tailgate packages for $1,000-$2,000 where you get dedicated seating, security, barricades, VIP views, and your own personal Port-a-Potty.
Travel to the event will be provided by free shuttles at two locations — from the Mockingbird Station directly to the block party, as well as from the northeast corner of Mockingbird and Greenville to the block party — from 11 am-5 pm.
Road closures related to these special events will impact traffic around Greenville Avenue from Park Lane to Vickery Boulevard between 6:30 am-8 pm. Detours are available for southbound and northbound travel at Greenville Avenue, Skillman Street, McMillan Avenue, and Central Expressway.
Residents and businesses located between Central Expressway and Greenville Avenue should utilize entrances and exits west of Greenville Avenue.
For the parade, four pedestrian crossing points will be available after 1 pm at Southwestern Boulevard, Lovers Lane, Milton Street, and University Boulevard.
DART will add service throughout that Saturday to meet demand.
From Plano, rail service will be added to Red and Orange Line trains operating between 6 am-11 pm to Mockingbird, Lovers Lane, or Park Lane stations.
From Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Dallas customers can ride the Green Line and transfer to either the Orange or Red Line in downtown Dallas.
Passengers riding the TRE can transfer to the Orange or special event Red Line trains at Victory Station.
If you normally ride Route 502 or 583 at Lovers Lane Station, service will be interrupted until the Dash Down Greenville Run has been completed. Both routes will be detoured from Lovers Lane to serve Mockingbird Station until Greenville is re-opened to traffic. Route 502 will continue to serve Park Lane Station. Red and Orange Line trains to Lovers Lane Station will not be interrupted during the parade.
Additional routes will be temporarily detoured during the parade including 24, 76, 81, 82, 84, 428 and 521. See DART.org/rideralerts for more information.
Be sure to visit the Official St. Patrick's Day Parade Facebook page, as there are actual copycats trying to steal the glory, can you believe that. The weather is forecast to be sunny and between 40 and 60 degrees. Event organizers expect about 90,000 people to attend.