Call Off the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Oh. My. God. The worst news in the history of news just landed in my inbox. They are killing the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Here’s a note from the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association to its members:

Preparations for this year’s event are generally the same as last year with one very notable exception. Dallas Police have decided to begin enforcing the Open Container law this year. Although they are doing this mainly in response to problems with retail operators outside the event, they will be giving all the officers the same direction on enforcing it, even in the neighborhood. The law is pretty simple. Any open containers should 18 feet away from a public right-of-way. That means 18 feet inside the sidewalk. They will write citations and the fine is $250. In the past, they would simply ask to pour it out. You may carry CLOSED containers without being in violation. So if you are carrying an ice chest to your neighbors house, you are ok as long as the contents are unopened.

I have written before about my love of this event. It is, in my estimation, the best day to be alive in Dallas every year. Part of the reason for that is its the one day of the year that cops let thousands of people walk around and drink beer. Suddenly, in a small way, Dallas becomes Vegas. And New Orleans. Do some people abuse the privilege? Of course. But, on the whole, the laissez faireness of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade makes for a special day. I mean, how can you have a St. Patrick’s Day parade without people tailgating?

This is a tragedy.

Update (9:29 a.m.): Hang on. I called DPD to beg them to reconsider. The folks in media relations had not heard anything about this supposed change in policy. As the officer told me, “There’s a hundred of us and a million of you. We couldn’t enforce that ban if we wanted to.” But that’s not the official response. He’s checking and will call back with confirmation one way or the other. We still have hope.

Update (11:55 a.m.): Here is the official word from Senior Cpl. Jonathan Crump, a Dallas Police Department spokesman who will himself be working the parade: yes, this year they will be “a little more strict” on open containers. But this is not a zero-tolerance policy. “You can be three sheets to the wind,” Crump says. “But if you don’t present a problem for me, you’ll be going home that night. If you present a problem for me, you won’t be going home.” Meaning, you’ll be going to jail. “It’s all about your attitude,” Crump says. Bottom line: if you’re walking down the street with a drink and not bothering anyone, it sounds like you’ve got nothing to worry about. So, everyone, let’s have fun Saturday. And let’s behave out there (for the most part).


  • Daniel

    Welcome to Protestant Town. You want fun, do you? Go skulk guiltily in the shadows to a strip club, buddy.

  • Justin B.

    I really hope this is an unsuspectingly early April Fools Day prank. If this is actually enforced, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will be KILLED. I agree that the laxed open container policy makes for an out-of-city experience that thousands look forward to, myself immensely included.

    Is it really worth it to the city to crack down on this? Think of how much drunken patronage all the Greenville restaurants and such get on those days. Say it ain’t so Tim!

  • @Daniel: It reminds me of this story that the great Joe Bob Briggs wrote for us a few years back.

  • ?

    “Any open containers should 18 feet away from a public right-of-way. That means 18 feet inside the sidewalk.”

    So, what does that mean for the parking lots along Greenvile (CVS, Office Depot, etc)? Same rule?

  • R

    Public right of way would be from the sidewalk to the curb. Parking lots are private property.

  • Tom

    The parade was great while it lasted. This new law will kill it off for sure. Wonder if everyone will follow it or ignore it? We’ve spent a fortune on hotels and transport for the event, i’m not sure what to do now as far as bringing drinks goes…..

  • Dirt Monkey

    Screw the parade, get drunk at the block party. That’s what my mom always said. Er, wait.

  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Thanks Avi!

  • JI

    This is something that you need to read:

    The only area in Dallas where public consumption is not allowed is in the “Central Business District” …basically, downtown.

  • pg

    You’ll notice this was published in the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association blog ( The limits of that association are Mockingbird to Ross and Greenville to Skillman. Draw your own conclusion but my thought is that this is only meant for the ‘after-party’. We’ll have two kegs in the Office Depot parking lot if anyone gets thirsty.

  • Spourtney Flomas

    I will drink anyways! Throw me some beeads!!!

  • Bo Hontreras

    Laws like this are made for other people. I’m pretty sure they don’t mean me. Kiss me! I’m Irish!!

  • D Mag Publicity Stunt – No Change in Parade Alcohol Policy

    Great “journalism” – just looking to increase readership over here at D or what… For years the LGNA has opposed St Paddy’s Day’s events in their ‘hood. This is clearly an attempt by the LGNA to mitigate the potential crowds in their community and area. The parade is a totally separate event (takes place on upper G’ville), which has been coordinated with dozens of city staff/depts over the last few months. The lower G parties are organized by the bars located there. Please double/triple check your “sources” and understanding of events before stirring the pot in the future. Because Dallas police media relations doesn’t have better things to do than confirm D’s splashy headlines.

  • Stephen Melendi – Belmont

    This was discussed at the planning meeting with the police department, but the discussion was limited to stepped up enforcement in the neighborhoods surrounding the block party.

    There was no mention of this applying to the parade route.

    Stephen Melendi
    Belmont Neighborhood Association

  • Jones

    This truly benefits Dwaine Caraway more than anyone. Avi A. has effectively snatched away the title of The Guy That Most Makes People Shake Their Heads About Dallas . What a buzzkill!

  • Spourtney Flomas

    I will kiss you Bo!!! I’m Irish too!

  • Sway

    If I put the cap back on my flask, is that still considered “open container” since technically it’s now closed?

  • Bo Hontreras

    Spourtney, you sound like the perfect woman! I’ll bring you some beads and beer on Saturday!

  • SDM

    Dallas got pretty creative for their “CBD” in JI’s link, especially considering it was done in 1993. In no way do I consider Turtle Creek at Fairmount/Maple to be in the CBD.

  • Spourtney Flomas

    This one is for you… I’ll be the one in the green tube top. Look for me!

  • I am Spartacus

    It is my understanding that this is being pushed not by the neighborhood associations or by Avi, but rather by the bars “inside the cage” who feel that they are losing revenue with the party-goers who buy their beverages “outside the cage” and choose to celebrate at the periphery of the official party.

  • Misfortune 44

    I for one would not lose sleep over this action-living right there on Greenville Ave, the people that were psssing out in our pool area after the parade, the garbage they left on our block, and the disrespect they had for people that live close to Greenville-I say good riddance. Sorry that others won’t agree, but I found it more of a nusiance.

  • Bo Hontreras

    I will be looking for you Spourtney! I can tell that this is a match made in heaven. I’ll be wearing extra green beads and drinking green beer. What a great day to be in Dallas and not have to worry about those laws made for other people!!

  • DL

    FYI…this is the first year that the Dallas Observer is not in charge of the Parade. GABA is organizing it on their own this year because many of the businesses in the association refused to help the Observer pay for the enormous cost of the event. It sounds like they haven’t covered their bases with the DPD and City Hall as well as the Observer always has in the past.

    If those selfish business owners would have recognized all that the Observer put into this event and continued to work with them, this wouldn’t be an issue. Sad to think that their selfishness may mean the end of Dallas’ largest annual event.

  • Spourtney Flomas

    The Observer Rocks! So does Bo!!!

  • As the author of the LGNA quote above, I can assure you this was meant for the neighborhood and had nothing to do with the parade. The parade is far outside our boundaries and is a separate event as far as we are concerned. I have no idea if they will enforce open container laws at the parade. Regarding the street party after the parade, LGNA does not oppose the party. Rather we have worked successfully with DPD and the business owners to help manage the parties impact on the neighborhood. While none of the neighborhood associations (to my knowledge) have asked that they change the policy on open containers at the street party or in the neighborhood, we felt our residents should be aware of the change in policy.

    Darren Dattalo, LGNA Crime Watch

  • JI

    Darren, what exactly is the open container policy as you know it? From what I understand (see my post/link above), it’s perfectly legal to have open containers in public. And the only exception I’m aware of doesn’t apply to your neighborhood.

    Besides, who cares about open containers when it’s the public intox and urinating in public and littering that are the real issues.?

  • dk

    @JI – you aren’t quite correct – In the CBD it is illegal to have an open container anywhere outside i.e. your front yard, even if it is private property. The rules for the rest of the city are as above, within 18feet of a public road or right of way it is illegal.

  • Protect My Parade

    So my main concern is the actual parade itself. Can anybody give me a solid answer on if you are standing in a parking lot on greenville, with a solo cup full of beer and not a beer can in sight, are you in violation or probably OK?

  • dk is right, the Open Container ordinance is in the City Code. But there is a difference in possessing an open container and consuming alcohol. The 18 feet deal is for consumption. Motto for the day: beer down.

  • Angel

    Can we still smoke Medical Marijuana?

    Three sheets to the wind? That can’t apply to herb, the wind will carry the smell. Any suggestions, DPD?

  • pstarr

    So, basically, you can consume alcohol AND smoke pot.

    If drinking illegally is fine, then burning a big fat one is not zero tolerance. Therefore, SMOKE ‘EM IF YA’ GOT ‘EM.

    Thanks for the update. Got it.

  • Anonymous

    Just kidding:)

    Relax and smile.

  • Motorhead250


    You’re hilarious. I will drink to that.

  • Copafeel

    I’m drinking Tigerblood, Charlie gave me some last night.

  • MStreeter

    Maybe you should remove this stupid headline so people don’t overreact anymore to an article that is completely invalid. Sounds to me like everything is status quo which means this is not news and not worthy of our time.

    Let the party begin!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ho-dog

    well, that was a waste of time. Obviously they aren’t going to enforce this. duh.

  • Chris

    Not a waste of time. Police are enforcing rdinance 6-6.1 which outlaws Open Container and Public Consumption of Alcohol. Dallas Observer just posted a story that has a link to the DPD Central Patrol Division website, that has information about the ordinance, etc. for Greenville on Saturday, as well as other “rules”.

  • Eric Celeste

    Jesus, Rogers will take anything a random crank sends him, slap a sensational headline on it, and try to up his page-view bonus. What a tool.

  • John Hancock

    Obviously any post that starts like a 12-year-old girl wrote it probably isn’t newsworthy.

  • Ryan

    I puke green beer in your general direction. Then order more. Observer, shame shame. Any reasonably intelligent drinker will not be sloshing beer on a cop as they walk down the street. Use your common sense people, man in blue, = better respect. Unless you like wearing nickle plated bracelets.

  • Donna

    Maybe it’s time to move to Austin, My son and his friends come up here for this event every year for Austin. Austin has alot more going for them, alot more freedom, our State Capital!!Dallas getting snobby. so many other events have gotten stricter., Dallas is becoming the none party place.

  • Laney


    Dallas is CHEESY.I lived there for years. Also, DPD is an immoral and unethical Dept. Crime is on the rise, and morons are policing the city. It used to be a good place to live, now is just plain, trashy.

    I moved a couple of years ago, and I don’t look back. I am very happy here in Austin.

    Party here in Austin or San Antonio, you will be much happier.

  • Ross

    Horse crap i will be drinking none the less, there not gonna stop over 30000 from drinking,they cant even put out enough portapottys

  • MStreeter

    If you dislike Dallas so much then why are you reading a Dallas Magazine? Why do you even care? I wish I had a enough free time to track Blogs about Cities/ Places/ events that I don’t like just to bash them. Actually no I don’t. I would probably be doing something that makes me happy. I can see you sitting there with a smug look and a Keep Austin Weird shirt on…… Where is my coffee?

  • yfzstarr

    the police and neighborhoods want you to stay at home and leave them alone so they can write tickets without the hassles. it was good while it lasted.

  • D town don’t let me down

    MStreeter – well put. “Sorry my life is so much more bitchin’ than yours. I planned it that way.”

  • Just keep it under control and don’t be the obvious 18 kid making an ass out of yourself and the cops will be cool. Something like this is always being brought up anytime such a big event comes around!!I’ll have my couple of gallons of premixed drank and will watch the fools being carted away…..

  • Laney,
    Your ignorance is noted. I love Austin too. I just don’t feel the need to degrade other cities that I have lived in to make myself seem like a likable person. (By the way, it usually has the opposite effect)Glad your gone….

  • cdub

    I spoke with DPD and they said they are issuing tix everywhere along the parade route. The 18 foot rule is in affect, and be careful standing outside of bars they have tabc laws for that as well. I still think it is going to depend on the officer you encounter.

  • zero

    “But if you don’t present a problem for me, you’ll be going home that night. If you present a problem for me, you won’t be going home.”

    hmm, that sounds an awful lot like a threat…