March Madness

If you saw the Dallas Observer ads touting Matthew McConaughey as the grand marshal of the 26th Annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade, perhaps your imagination got the better of you. Maybe you envisioned the major motion picture star sitting high on his float, extra-whitened teeth gleaming, chiseled jaw and taut muscles freshly bronzed. At some point your eyes meet, and you feel a connection. He's looking right at you--blowing a kiss and waving. He feels it, too, you imagine. The attraction can't be denied. Well, people, it's time to wake up and smell the dead, thorny roses: The leading man canceled. The reasons are legit, we suppose; something about bad weather in the East throwing his tour off schedule. We get it. But Matthew, this is Texas, baby--your motherland!

We're professionals, though, and the show must go on. And if you've ever been to the parade and its after-party, you know that the grand marshal isn't the real draw anyway. The costumed merrymaking and the flowing alcohol and the people decked in extra-tacky amounts of green are what really bring the funk. And this year is no different.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday (rain or shine) at Blackwell Street, the parade will continue down Greenville Avenue as participants are judged in 17 categories by a panel of "celebrity" judges, including parade founder Tom Stephenson and area media personalities. The floats will make their way to Yale Boulevard, where Jack's Pub (5550 Yale Blvd.) will play host to the post-parade festivities from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Following an awards ceremony for honors such as "Best of the Best," "Least Likely to Finish" and the "Toilet Bowl" award, L.A. punk band Social Distortion will headline a free concert with Street Dogs and Swedish punks the Backyard Babies. The music starts at 1:45 p.m., and the headliners go on at 4:30 p.m.

Prizes. Loud music. A bar. Drunken revelers pretending to pay homage to Irish culture. What better way to drown the sorrow of having an AWOL Matthew McConaughey? Come on, like you were really gonna make it within 500 feet of the guy. We have only one regret about the missed opportunity for an interview. Our burning question: Is purported fiancee Penelope Cruz as annoying in person? Guess we'll never know for sure, but we have a pretty good idea.

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Rhonda Reinhart