Free Dallas Seasonal Events - St. Patricks Day Parade & Asian Festival
Fun and Free!
Texans don't wait long to begin celebrating the good times, and as soon as the weather is finally t- shirt worthy in Dallas, events season kicks off in a very big way! Here are a couple of free event ideas to include in your 'must visit' itinerary when choosing interesting and memorable weekend adventures.
St. Patricks Day - A History
St. Patrick is arguably the most famous patron Saint of Ireland and every year around the globe, the local Irish community gathers to celebrate with feats and celebrations with a day that initially marked his death. In modern history it now commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and is a holiday that has been carried and spread with the arrival of Irish expats across the globe.
St. Patricks Day Parade
The Greenville Ave Route
The parade usually takes place in the second week of March and this year will take place on Saturday March 14, 2015 from 11am. (Please click the link for updates on other years event info).
It begins Greenville Ave @ Blackwell Street travels over a 2 mile route and ends at Yale Blvd/SMU Blvd @ 75 Central Expressway.
A Parade History in Dallas
I was completely stunned to find out that the parade began with just a few cars as far back as 1979. Word spread - the event grew - however there was some backlash from the local neighborhoods who disputed that the parade interfered with traditional events and so it was cancelled. Disputes and negotiations with the local business association and the city council began and the council refused to back down in 1988 denying a permit for a parade. Yet in 1989 a spontaneous parade sprang up and was declared a 'non- parade' with the overwhelming public support for a parade apparent, and a permit was granted. 20,000 spectators attended that event and the attendance has steadily grown to almost 100,000 people since and over 100 different floats joining in the revelry!
A Shirt Just for the Occasion
What to See?
I cannot even begin to describe to you the kaleidoscope of people and attractions that appear at this annual parade. There are always the usual mainstays of every parade which include local Irish pubs or local Dallas breweries, however some of the events participants may surprise you! I've annually witnessed the School of Rock, the Greek food Festival of Dallas and even the local Hare Krishna Temple. Scottish bagpipers attend as do local law enforcement and emergency services. Local businesses use the event to advertise their wares and even local charities such as RISE attend the event. The list of parades is never ending, and everyone joins in with the fun and antics. I've even caught a glimpse of dogs in tutu's and superheroes clamoring to join in with the festivities!
The Scottish Invasion
The Years Fly By
How many years have you been attending the Parade on Greenville Ave?
Save the date!
So don't forget to mark the date on your calendar and attend whats' touted to be the largest St. Patricks day Parade in the Southwest as it's an event to remember. Now let's travel from the cooler climes of Europe further afield to the Far East where the sun sets on a different ocean........
Lions Visit Dallas
East Meets West
In 2015 the Asian Festival will celebrate an amazing 25 years in Dallas! In conjunction with the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce, this fantastic event has become a cultural mainstay in the local community. It celebrates Asian influence in dance, art, food and music and is a free event to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Where is it?
In years past the event has taken place at the Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas, however this year (2015) the celebration has moved. (For other event years, please click on the Asian American Chamber of Commerce Link provided above for the official destination that year.)
Klyde Warren Park will be the home for the 25th Year of celebrations to take place on May 2, 2015.
Klyde Warren Park
Create your own Dance
The variety of performances on display at the festival is extensive and globe trotting. It kicks off as early as 11am with the acrobatically impressive and enthralling 'Lion Dance' which is usually performed by a local Chinese Youth Academy. A constant crowd pleaser, this amazing display is often repeated throughout the day for those that didn't catch the first performance. A Chinese ribbon dance continues the musical journey through Asia and then the geographical landscape begins to change. Bollywood appears and makes a grand and energetic entrance eventually followed by Japanese Taiko drums that have been known to dominate the stage later in the afternoon. Hula dancers fill up the stage with their talents and you can even enjoy some Thai classical dance provided courtesy of the local Thai temple. The line up does vary and change annually, so be sure to click on the link to see this years event details.
A Taste of India
Tastes and Crafts
Arts and Crafts vendors are usually present during each festival, and offer numerous wonderful trinkets, jewelry and art with an asian influence. Once you're done perusing the wonderful wares that are on offer, don't forget to stop by one of the many food booths that usually line the lawn area. You can taste anything from Bombay Street Food or Sushi to tasty Thai Noodles. Wandering a little further afield you'll soon locate one of the food trucks that surrounds the park. These vehicles will send out beautiful aromas of Vietnamese offering and other Asian flavors that will be sure to please your palate.
Passport to Asia
The Asian festival is a great way to spend a wonderfully sunny Dallas day enjoying the cultural diversity that this great city has to offer. Be sure to attend this years event as it's wonderful tapestry of sights, sounds and tastes make for a great day out!
Thank you for joining me on another fun and free journey through the some great events that take place annually in the city of Dallas. The fun never ends in D Town, so make sure to check my other articles for interesting and free things to fill your days while visiting.