Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade on Greenville Avenue in 2021 is canceled

The Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival on Greenville Avenue is canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks, announced the cancellation of the event, which usually takes place on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

The Cuban has been a champion of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dallas for years. He saved the parade by writing a check for $ 50,000 in 2012 and then donating an additional $ 15,000 to a Dallas ISD scholarship fund, says Jake Levy, board member of the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA).

The Cuban has donated $ 50,000 to the parade every year since 2012.

“Without him there probably wouldn’t be a parade,” says Levy.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (left) tosses beads from the Grand Marshal during the 37th annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2016. When the Cuban wrote a check to save the parade in 2012, he emailed Jake and Jorge Levy, longtime board members of the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA), that he “wasted too many brain cells [on the parade] to see it go away. ” (GJ McCarthy / employee photographer)

But the parade was canceled in 2020, four days before dozens of cars were expected to idle in Dallas’ Lower Greenville. That same year, Texans saw other high profile event cancellations including COVID-19, SXSW, and the State Fair of Texas.

According to Cubans, the organizers of the parade look forward to March 2022 when he expects the St. Pat’s parade to resume.

“We’ll be back in style and bigger and better than ever,” he says. “So get your cars ready, get your green beer ready. The time will come in 15 months. “

The parade typically draws more than 120,000 people on a two-mile strip of Greenville Avenue that runs south of Park Lane and north of Mockingbird Lane. It’s a free event from the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA).

The day typically includes three key events, each performed by different entities: a 3 mile run; a candy-throwing parade that attracts nearly 100 floats and tens of thousands of night owls; and a block party south of the parade near Blue Goose Cantina and Stan’s Blue Note. The parade is the only charitable part of the day.

The St. Paddy’s Day Dash 5K, organized by Run Project, will take place on March 13, 2021, but has moved to Fair Park. A virtual run is an option.

It is unclear whether the block party will continue as planned. We asked a spokesman for details and will update this story as we know more.

In this file photo, viewers are thrown St. Patrick's beads along the parade route during a past Parade & Festival in Dallas.In this file photo, viewers are thrown St. Patrick’s beads along the parade route during a past Parade & Festival in Dallas.(Louis DeLuca / employee photographer)

For business owners along the Strip, the cancellation of their biggest event of the year after a year of challenges feels like a blow.

“This is by far our biggest day of the year,” says Levy, who owns and operates the Mexican restaurant Desperados, which is on the Parade Route.

It’s also the toughest day of the year, he says. Customers wait an hour or more for a table, and some can get restless on a day that involves drinking alcohol. “There are many challenges that come with being drunk,” he says. “But we take it with a grain of salt and we love it. It’s a good day for all of us. “

St. Patrick's Block Party on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas is a separate event from the parade.  The block party usually takes place in the afternoon after the parade ends. St. Patrick’s Block Party on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas is a separate event from the parade. The block party usually takes place in the afternoon after the parade ends. (Daniel Carde / employee photographer)

The parade started in 1979 and has been canceled three times. The first was in 1988 when “high security and cleanup” became an issue according to a story in the Dallas Morning News that year. In any case, more than 20,000 people drove down a section of Greenville Avenue in what they called St. Patrick’s (Un) Parade. Levy, whose restaurant has been in Greenville since 1976, remembers drivers with signs saying “This is not a parade”.

The parade was almost canceled in 2012, but the Cuban is known to have saved it.

The parade has been canceled two more times since then, in 2020 and 2021, marking the first 24-month void in the parade’s more than 40-year history.

For more news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

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