St. Patty’s Day Parade, hear us roar… and grumble.

HPIM1232_optThere’s been a lot of chatter about the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival. In the past couple weeks, I’ve been privy to some heated email exchanges between legitimately concerned neighbors.

For starters, although the Greenville Business Association Board of Directors and Angela Hunt put their heads together to rename the event and market it as “family friendly,” it seems no one is actually buying that. Don’t get me wrong, no one is spitting on their efforts. It was an honest attempt. But more than 100,000 people are expected to attend an event where the main attraction is green beer, and it’s supposed to be the equivalent of an afternoon at Six Flags? Right.

Secondly, Snoop Dogg (wait, isn’t he trying to reinvent himself as Snoop Lion?) and other local rappers will be performing for the Dallas Observer’s St. Patrick’s Day Concert at the corner of University and Greenville. The concert, which is completely sold out, has been a particularly sore issue for many. Mostly I’m hearing a lot of, “Oh sure, bring on the crowds. Please come park on my street and use my front yard as a toilet.” So, that’s not going to be a disaster.

In response to some of these concerns, Lori Chance, the special events manager, sent a clarification email. She stressed that “all of the activities north of Mockingbird are the same special events that have taken place every year” — the Dash Down Greenville Run, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Observers After Parade Concert at Energy Square.

“The concert is appearing to get more exposure this year because of the entertainment selection,” she writes. “Based on the Special Events Ordinance, the city does not have the authority to decline or reject a Special Event Permit application because of the entertainment selection.”

She concludes by explaining that there will be 405 off-duty officers working on Greenville on Saturday. That’s in addition to the on-duty neighborhood patrols that will already be out in force.

“I just want to ensure you that public safety is the highest priority at all special events in the City of Dallas. DPD Command posts will be set up in several places from 4 a.m. Saturday morning to 4 a.m. Sunday morning,” she says.


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