Will the Greenville St. Patrick’s Day Parade Really Turn Into a Sober Event?

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again: there is no better day in Dallas than the Greenville Avenue St. Paddy’s Parade. People fly their freak flags. They get drunk. They wander around the M Streets, shambling from house party to house party. It’s a spectacle. It’s a celebration of spring. It’s a hell of a party. So you, like me, might at first have been a little worried when you heard that the city is stepping in this year to tone things down a bit. From Pegasus News:

Instead of a beer guzzling party, the focus will be on a family-friendly affair that honors the Irish tradition and the pageantry of the parade. “[The parade] had gotten a little raucous,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings. The new name of the parade is The Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade on Greenville Avenue …

I find a couple of things about that ridiculous. First, the parade is already family friendly. It’s a parade. People throw candy. There are kids and strollers everywhere. Sure, you’ll see people guzzling beer. But plenty of parents turn out with their kids, drink a beer or two, and then return home before the public urination begins in earnest. Second, in Ireland, they go to church on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a holy day. That’s their tradition. We’d be stupid to do that. Because going to church isn’t nearly as much fun as watching a parade and drinking beer.

But there’s no reason to worry, dear friends. Far as I can tell, the biggest changes they’re making involve the parade itself. According to Pegasus: “No sexually-oriented business will be allowed in the parade, and rowdier groups won’t be permitted to drink on the floats or toss drinks into the audience.” Puritanical in my book. I say let the strippers pole dance in the parade. But booting them out isn’t going to change the tenor of the event. Because the beer guzzlers don’t care about the parade. As long as people can drag around a cooler and have open containers in public – and far as I know, the cops will continue to ignore the open containers so long as you behave yourself – then the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade will keep rocking. And no one but Mayor Mike is going to call it the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Greenville.

Hard as it might try to ruin a good thing, the city, thankfully, can’t stop this party.