How did it all start? Discover the history of the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

By: Landon Wexler, Anita Hamilton Freeman

Published: March 17, 2023/02:20 CDT

Updated: March 17, 2023 / 2:20 PM CDT

DALLAS (KDAF) — The 42nd Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a success, as always, but how did this event get started? Inside DFW gets those answers.

Inside DFW he sat with Tommy Donahue on the board of directors for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and found out about the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade he went to in Dallas on Greenville Avenue.

“I was home from college during spring break and happened to be in lower Greenville. And suddenly, everyone in the cafe went out into the street for about 10-15 minutes. This little parade went by a couple of pickup trucks and beer trucks and a couple of convertibles with a city council and everyone booed and hollered for a few minutes and went back to the bars drinking again,” Donahue said.

According to Donahue, Dallas’ first parade was in 1979. His bar, Milo Butterfingers, was involved in the parade for another 15 to 20 years. He took a pickup truck and joined the parade. Ultimately, people in lower Greenville became frustrated with the aftermath of the parade and had to postpone it.

The following year, the team got a pass and began planning for the parade we all know today. In 1989 the fashion show started from there and hasn’t stopped since.

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