Each year in Dallas around mid-March, the city celebrates St. Paddy's Day with the most epic parade. In the spirit of adventure and building community with my friends and residents I decided to resurrect the GFC tradition of 'surfing' the streets with a beer and some friends.
The adventure began on Friday evening when I picked up Christina in my trusty 4runner to leave Austin and head North up to Waco (the mid point of our journey) to feast at a recently discovered hidden seafood gem. While driving up to Dallas on a lenten Friday, I discovered "Tejun: the Texas Cajun" Restaurant while searching for a place to eat that served fish. The restaurant is located just east of highway 35 in the suburb of Robinson, TX. The venue is perched upon a scenic pond where large parties can gather for functions and events such as bachelor/ette parties, birthdays, etc. The parking lot was packed with cars wrapped around the building with trucks and SUV's parking on the nearby fields.
Luckily we found some prime parking as a guest was leaving which set the tone for a most fortunate weekend adventure. The food was amazing and worth writing about for any reader fortunate enough to venture this way and taste for themselves. (East exit 329, New Robinson Rd)
We reached my Dallas Condo around 10pm. The next morning we woke up and made a Costco run to purchase a large pizza for us and our residents to fill our stomachs before making our way to the parade where we would be walking and drinking beer for most of the afternoon. After eating, we made our way to the Dart rail station to ride with fellow parade goers down to the festival. The festivities started off around noon by Lover's Lane and Greenville Avenue. With nearly 125,000 people in attendance this year, the parking/traffic situation was sure to be a nightmare which is why we rode the train which dropped us off about a block away from the action. It's the only day of the year that I know of where people can openly carry bottles and cans of alcohol as they walk the streets. The parade floats are largely decorated trailers with live bands and people throwing green St Paddy's: beads, vodka jello shots, and local business advertisement swag.
We walked along the parade route towards the finish line for about a mile while catching necklaces and other St Paddy's paraphernalia. We passed thousands of people sporting their St Patrick's day clothing, face paint, and costumes. Many families with small children mixed with tipsy adults who smoked and drank. There were food trucks, restaurants, and port-a-potties everywhere.
After the parade the masses flooded South Greenville avenue which was closed to vehicle traffic and stationed with security officers. We walked around checking out the bars and crowds before stopping off at house party held by a beer/running club that I used to frequent when I lived in Dallas. Some of them still remembered me. They were grilling ribs, serving beer, and singing which appealed to our mood.
After a few beers we needed to use the restroom which we met with incredible wait times so we decided to use alternative locations. Christina found a "ladies only" port-o-potty behind someone's house, and I found a 24hr fitness center where I maintain a membership. We also got chased out by a sushi shop owner on another washroom trip. We 'people-watched' for a few hours before deciding to ride the rail back up North to have a late lunch at "Ye ole butcher shop" a tradition we've held in past parades.
When we finally made it back home, we finished up the last of the breakfast pizza and took a much needed rest before getting dressed and heading back out to a party that evening. The trip was truly a whirlwind adventure with good food, friends, and fun.