Wednesday, January 16, 2013 , Updated 10:39 a.m., January 18, 2013
New Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade will take focus off drinking
Plus: Mark Cuban's back!
The word "upscale" has rarely been used to describe Dallas' annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade, but it's one of the descriptors for the newly-branded event, according to members of The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (GAABA) and city of Dallas Council Member Angela Hunt.
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, and it takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16. The parade will begin near Northwest Highway and will run south on Greenville Avenue to SMU Boulevard.
Just like last year, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will contribute. He made headlines in 2012 for saving the parade by writing a check for $40,000 to cover costs. Without his help, the decades-old parade was in jeopardy of being canceled.
Cuban's company AXS-TV is one of the 2013 parade partners and sponsors. And his donation is "significant," though GAABA Vice President Tommy Donahue said they couldn't disclose the amount yet.
"I don't know that we could do [the parade] without him, I can say that," said Donahue, who owns Milo Butterfingers near Greenville Avenue.
Members of the board will more carefully scrutinize parade float applicants, keeping it at a maximum of 100 floats like last year. But the focus will be on better quality floats, said Mauricio Navarro, spokesperson for the parade. 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.
"The focus is more family-friendly, less of a focus on drinking," said Hunt. "I think it's a very positive thing."
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