DALLAS — If you plan on attending the Mavericks victory parade in downtown Dallas Thursday morning, it's very important for you to drink water.
In fact, you should start drinking water long before you make your way to the parade route, and if you were hoping to get some H20 while waiting to see the Dallas players pass by &mdash don't count on it.
In case you haven't noticed, there are no water fountains on the streets of downtown Dallas, so people who plan to come to the parade need to bring their own water — and lots of it.
There will be some water available, but there is no way to have enough for a quarter of a million people.
When Salvation Army officials saw people getting sick at Dallas Love Field Monday morning as they waited for the Mavericks plane to return from Miami, they knew a parade with 100 times more people would be worse.
So Steven Hood, the organization's chief operating officer, spent the day on the phone, looking for sources of water.
"We tried to collect from partners; we know we will fall short for the parade, so we'll have to go out and buy to make sure we will have enough," he said.
The Salvation Army will use DART's West End, Union and Victory Stations as hydration centers. When we e-mailed Mavs owner Mark Cuban — who is bankrolling the parade — if he was also supplying water, he replied: "People can bring bottled water. It's not a difficult or expensive task."
"I would bring several bottles of water per person," said Dallas police Chief David Brown, who advised fans to start hydrating on Wednesday night. The city is prepared only to help those who get sick.
"We'll be providing water for those who don't listen to the message and become faint or ill because of lack of hydration," Brown said. "We feel like we'll have adequate water."
The parade route itself has only a handful of businesses that normally sell water. One of the few is at the Sixth Floor Museum's cafe, but it's not cheap.
Downtown 7-Eleven stores are giving away free blue Slurpees to honor the Mavericks victory, and a company called Crazy Water will distribute samples of its product.
But the main source of water has to be what people bring, and that should be several bottles per person.
The Salvation Army was hoping for a major vendor to donate thousands of bottles of water, but since that didn't happen, they had to borrow from the stash for their summer cooling centers.
Now they are hoping for donations — either big or small — to make up for the deficit.