St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas
I love St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas. Here we celebrate it on the Saturday closest to March 17, with an annual 5k fun run, a parade, and lots of drinking and debauchery. In this regard, it’s pretty much the same as St. Patrick’s Day in any other city. But unlike the celebrations in Boston, Chicago or New York, Dallas doesn’t have a cohesive Irish American community. St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas is less about Irish heritage and more about drinking. A lot of that has to do with the weather.
Considering how hot our summers get, winter in Dallas is surprisingly cold, though the cold is sporadic. It might be 70 one day and 20 the next. But right around the middle of March, the cold spells go away and the weather turns beautiful. Since this coincides with an existing drinking holiday, Dallasites have embraced St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to be outside in the nice spring weather, with a solo cup full of green beer and good friends clad in emerald shirts.
Not Family Friendly
Unlike St. Patrick’s celebrations in older Irish cities, St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas doesn’t have a long history. It started in the late 1970s as a simple block party, back when Greenville Avenue was populated by strip clubs and seedy bars. Greenville Avenue has grown a lot less shady in recent years, and the city of Dallas has been trying to co-opt the annual parade into a “family friendly” event. I think this is a mistake. Like it or not, St. Patrick’s Day in America isn’t about our Irish heritage; it’s about wearing green and getting trashed. And you know what. I’m okay with that. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional excuse to party.