Organizers Say the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade May Not Happen This Year

Categories: Events

parade1.jpg
Roderick Pullum
Last year's parade drew more than 100,000 people to Greenville.
So here's some potentially lousy news: The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade, that beloved march of green-tinted debauchery that's been blowing down Greenville since 1979, appears to be on its deathbed.

The concert at the parade route's end will play on, headlined by Ryan Bingham. The party on Lower Greenville isn't going anywhere, either. And the Observer's marketing team, which sponsored and produced the parade for much of its existence before pulling out last year, is making a last-minute effort to drum up support from the businesses that line the parade route.

But failing that support or some other unforeseen development, the event's 33-year run will come to an end, Jorge Levy, president of the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association, told me today.

Here's the gist: For the parade's first several years of existence, the event was small and cheap to put on. But through the 1990s and 2000s, crowds swelled past 100,000 and costs grew. In recent years the cost of the parade nearly doubled, from $45,000 in 2007 to more than $75,000 last year, with the bulk of that money going to the city for off-duty police.

From 1997 until last year, the Observer picked up those costs. But with the price climbing, the paper pulled out last year, focusing instead on the concert.

GAABA got help from a beer distributor and was able to keep the parade alive, but it lost a little money in the process, Levy told me. And this year, with the St. Patrick's Day holiday falling on a Saturday and big crowds expected, the city told him that more barricades and cops would be needed, driving costs closer to $100,000.

Between entry fees and corporate support, GAABA can cover about two-thirds of it, Levy told me. But he doesn't see the rest of the money coming. And if it doesn't come before February 17, he's calling it off.

A couple of hours ago, I spoke with city councilwoman Angela Hunt, whose district includes the parade route. She said that after years of frustration over clean-up and security, she's been happy with the parade in recent years, and she doesn't want to see it die. But with the city facing a $50 million-or-more budget gap, she doesn't expect City Hall to kick in.

Our marketing folks tell me that the Observer will try to drum up financial support from Greenville businesses, in hopes of keeping the parade alive. (Happy bar owners are good for business.) If Levy sticks to his deadline, they have two weeks to land about $40,000 in commitments.

We'll update you when we know more, and we'll see you somewhere on Greenville either way. We'll be the drunk ones wearing green.

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108 comments
Diane
Diane

Has anyone heard any updates on the parade for this year?  I am just hoping that something does happen and they are able to continue the tradition.  I myself live for this every year.  It is something that must continue.

Keith Michales
Keith Michales

Damn shame, This parade will go the way of Cotton Bowl Parade, New Years Parade, Downtown St Patricks Parade, Sheikh Parade,and the Mystiqal Mardi Gras Parade. The City of Dallas needs to pull their heads out of their....... well anyway, I have been to every GVA St. Patricks parades for 14 years and Damn if I have seen $100,000.00 worth of any Dallas city services at that event. Must be going into the city coffers or their pockets.

tim_lebsack
tim_lebsack

 Step 1) Hire private security instead of Dallas Police.  It will be cheaper.

Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

Doesn't seem to popular with the brothers according to the photo, looks more like a Up With People concert.......so this parade is racist...unless you add a John Wiley Price float...... 

mjn86
mjn86

The Greenville businesses should consider using www.crowdtilt.com - amazing tool for group funding.

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

good riddance. keep the concert, can the shitty parade of drunks and trash.

savetheparade!
savetheparade!

Please read this article and donate to keep a Dallas tradition alive!! Thanks :)http://www.wfaa.com/news/local... the Parade!apps.facebook.comFor 33 years, Greenville Avenue has been THE place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; billed by many as “Dallas’ version of Mardi Gras.” The Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings tens of thousands together along the 2 mile route to celebrate Erin Go Braugh through outrageous floats, colorful costumes and plenty of surprises. We need your help to raise $40,000 by February 17th to Save...

Daniel Gormley
Daniel Gormley

It would be a shame to cancel the parade because of money issues. Who is telling those that are putting on the parade that they HAVE to spend x amount of dollars for law enforcement? Is the city doing that? So the city is making money off the parade or is all that money really going to those working it? I would like to see a financial break down on all of this... 

books-r-for-kidz
books-r-for-kidz

Average Teacher's Salary=$55,000St.Paddy's Day Parade needs=$40,000The Fall of Western Civilization=PRICELESS

Greenville Partier
Greenville Partier

The parade was cool.  Spreading out to various venues afterwards was cool.  It was the Lower Greenville "cage party," which transformed this into an unsustainable event for everyone.  It would be nice if people could refrain from just calling neighbors names, and assuming that everyone who thinks the party sucks should move to Plano.

Rather, you might consider that concentrating the aftermath of a giant parade into one more giant wad of people wasn't smart.  It ruined things, and changed the way the party played out.  If the parade happened, then people were once again allowed to filter off on their own (rather than being herded and caged in a second site), there would be a better flow.

Roadsidecouch
Roadsidecouch

So where are guys gonna go to pick up drunken sluts on St. Paddy's day?  

Sooner1997
Sooner1997

Well, GABA gave away $7500 last year in scholarships. They could skip that this year. I think they are bluffing to be perfectly honest...and will end up with plenty of money at the end of the day.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

The reason everyone looks forward to this parade so much is that most of Dallas sucks so badly the other 364 days a year. These are the things that made this parade cool -  1) it was funky and fun2) it happened organically and was not some corporate suckfest3) it brought all kind of people together4) it was ON THE STREET not at some shitty venue5) it was FREE

And for about 12 hours, Dallas threw off it's uptight suit and removed the corn cob out of it's ass and partied hard.

If people here in Dallas who love the parade want things like this to happen, they have to demand less Dallas bullshit in general. They have to demand the city spend money on things that make Dallas more livable every day. They have to spend their money at places that meet the spirit of the above list. They have stop accepting the status quo, and stop burying their heads in the sand while their elected representatives vote to spend where it benefits big real estate developers the most. 

The question is not if the parade is worth saving. The question is if there is anyone worth saving it for??

Jaki
Jaki

RAISE THE MONEY YOURSELVES IF IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU. ALL OVER DALLAS THERE ARE PEOPLE CRYING ABOUT THIS AND NOT ONE OF YOU IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Brandon Castillo
Brandon Castillo

As someone who dabbles in special events in the City, the biggest prohibitive factor is the security formula that the Office of Special Events employs when permitting an event. Th elong and skinny is that the City of Dallas can't afford to pay their police overtime, which is traditionally how cops make extra cash, by doing the work they're supposed to be doing. So the City made a deal with the OSE that required event coordinators to pony up on security at $40/hr per cop per 100 people attending. Which means that a 6 hr event expecting 500 people would cost $1200 for security alone.

Imagine the scale of this parade plus cleanup, entertainment, barriers, portopotties, and security among other things, then imagine how these companies make their money back. Outside of the money alone, you have a ton of residents that are trying to break the tradition of Greenville Ave = debauchery. It's a bummer that this may fall through, but Dallas is a weak city with a diluted population. If the tax base increases and strong leadership among communities arises, then maybe we can have a cool city.

tex
tex

Surprise, surprise, "I'm moving to the M streets and this parade needs to stop, my Volvo is getting peed on.". That's like moving next to DFW and all the sudden you want that plane noise to stop. Douche Bag

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

This is Leppert's fault (by the way of Bush), right?  Surely it is.  And now an article saying as much replete with a photo of Leppert looking awkward, a Hunt glamor shot, and the expletive 'fuck,' to be posted in 5...4...3...2..

The city's budgetary problems!  Ha!  What about the kick ass trolleys?  Money didn't seem to be an issue to Hunt on that one.  And I'll just bet she really hopes the thing gets worked out.  Especially if someone can promise that the sidewalk in front of her M-Street abode won't be sullied. 

At least lowest Greenville Ave in now kick ass.  There's something so perfect about that WalMart grocery moving in.  Cosmic retribution for the a-wipe hipster douche of a 'vision' that was nothing more than a waste of tax payers' money...and the satiation of a small group of egos.

bj9mac
bj9mac

Let's just have the parade without the cops. It'd be a lot more fun.

NewsDog
NewsDog

Congrats Joe,You, and the Observer, have been quoted as source in an article in this mornings DMN. I think this is a first. They actually admit that The Observer exists. I'm sure that the reporter who wrote the article will be needing a job by Tueasday, can you throw him a bone?   

WOO HOO
WOO HOO

This is the best news I have heard all week! As a Greenville Ave. resident, I HATE this fucking parade for 100 reasons, mainly because my neighborhood is invaded with throngs of drunken assholes who treat the place where I live literally like a trashcan and/or toilet. Also? No one picks up after this thing - I am talking to you, Jake Levy of the Greenville Avenue Business Association. I saw you on the news this morning, saying the budget pays for blah, blah, blah, and trash clean-up afterwards. Liar. I laughed so hard at that, I fell out of bed. So I'm thrilled your fucking parade may be a thing of the past -- in fact, I'm so happy, I think I'll get drunk and go stagger around someone else's neighborhood, and vomit and pee in someone's flowerbed. I'm sure they won't mind - we're supposed to not mind it when this happens, right?

gomez
gomez

Y'all want Irish stuff without green beer? Go the the North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Parkon March 2 to 4th. Been going on for 30 yrs. Lots of music, beer, dancing, pipebands and other stuff. Been going for years - not as rowdy as G'vill -  but lots of fun.......!The Parade crashed because of egos, greed, money and an anal-retentive city governmentthat builds ego-bridges for bubble-city folks but can't find money for bike lanes on our streetsGomez

Ben
Ben

That parade was the "Festivus For The Rest Of Us". Maybe the cancellation of the parade will serve as a wakeup call that buddy, this town ain't for you. Not to sound like one of those urban outdoorsmen Occupier people but regular citizens of Dallas really do get the shaft.

Politicians point to the new opera house, new hotel, new bridge. You can look but cannot touch. Buddy, it ain't for you. Even though you paid for it.

At the other end of the spectrum are ever growing underclass. Ones who are basically wards of the state. They live in Dallas for the free gimmiedat entitlements. Rape the system. Buddy, that ain't for you either. You were raised better than that. Even though you work your ass off to support those people.

So, that one St Patricks Day Parade, that was the parade for everyone who has a job and pays taxes. A group of people who don't use Parkland's ER as a family physician, people whose kids don't get their Christmas presents from Toys For Tots, people who were born here, raised here and work here.

Ain't for you. Dallas is broke and broken.

Maybe if it was rebilled as the Irish Potato Famine Immigrant Survivors Society parade, to create a faux vIkTiMs class, like all the other parades....then it might have a chance.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Most of the 100,000 will just find something else to do in Collin County that day.

captain obvious
captain obvious

 I've lived on and near lower G'ville since the 80's. The real party died years ago. I'd say about the time the Met died. My favorite moment was when Tim Rogers tried to launch himself from a water balloon slingshot and went face first into the concrete resulting in one bloody concussion. It was AWSOME!  Recent years have lost the spontaneity. Plus, I can't stand the smell of vinegar and water wafting in the air.

MattL1
MattL1

If you had actually read any if the comments, you would have seen that many people suggested that some funding mechanism be set up.

Your Caps Lock key is engaged, by the way...

books-r-for-kidz
books-r-for-kidz

Nah, you're right dude. If lower Greenville was ever cool(and that's a very questioned ever) it's definitely now morphing into "yuppieville" which is tending to happen all over the U.S. and that makes me sad:(

G_David
G_David

 Maybe you should sober up and try your nonsensical rant again, fuckface.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

It's a walmart grocery store, not a walmart.

Not a Volvo Driving Doche
Not a Volvo Driving Doche

I am moving to the M Streets next month and was PUMPED about being walking distance from the parade.  If you want to live in a quiet suburb, why did you move to neighborhood in East Dallas bounded by a freeway on one side and Greenville Ave on the other?  Don't be a douche.

jdbdallas
jdbdallas

You suck and should not live in the M Streets. Move to Allen.

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Could be worse, years ago we had the motorized bar stool racers, one of the rigs had a ether based flame thrower on board, Talk about a mess, that and we all were drinkin' oil can sized Foster's. One of the guys had a chainsaw operated rig, give us any shit and your shrubs were history and so was the paint on your car. But that was thirty years ago when folks were livin' rather than bitchin'.

SCamp
SCamp

This will bring even more people to Lower Greenville since that event will still go on. Long live St Pat's Day!!!

Elodallas
Elodallas

Surprise, surprise, "I'm moving to the M streets and this parade needs to stop, my Volvo is getting peed on.". That's like moving next to DFW and all the sudden you want that plane noise to stop. Douche Bag

boom
boom

you sound old.

Guest
Guest

The party on Lower Greenville will go on. It's only the upper Greenville parade that is in danger.

drummy drum
drummy drum

As someone who performs at Irish Fest, you are 1000% correct. 

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

and the award for most racial code words in one post goes to....

Shannon
Shannon

I think I'm in love.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Um, didn't you get upset with my saying the exact same thing above?

Weird.

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

Sure got you going, turbo, didn't it. Point out, the nonsensical stuff if you would, ace.

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

I think I was pretty specific on just what type of WalMart is moving in: "There's something so perfect about that ****WalMart grocery**** moving in."  But hey, I misread/hastily read things all the time, too.

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