Sham-Rocking the Square

Ah, it certainly will be a great day for the Irish — and just about everyone else — this Saturday during St. Patrick's Day. Of course, all the fun starts with the city's St. Paddy's parade, second only to New York City's. Along the parade route, which starts at the Greyhound station on 11th Street and ends at the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix, more 150,000 revelers will line the streets to watch nearly 200 marching bands, floats, Irish-heritage groups and mounted police. Overall, more than 23,000 people march in this greenest of green parades.

No matter the weather, the world will seem bright and gay when Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Queen Mary Kate Gallagher steals your heart away with her Gaelic gaze. Another extra special guest for this year's parade is Vice President Joe Biden, who will review marchers as they pass by the Grand Stand. And if that isn't enough to make the rest of the U.S. green with envy, we're inviting everyone to join us in Market Square for an all-day celebration of the Emerald Isle's favorite snake charmer.

The festivities start with a family-friendly Irish Fair in the Square from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This alcohol-free event's activities include music from the Celtic Shores, Montour High's Drum Line, the River City Brass Band and the McDonald Pipe Band. Now, if that doesn't make you get up and do a merry little jig, a band of buskers will be performing magic tricks to delight and mystify the wee ones and paint shamrocks and four-leaf clovers on the faces of all the little leprechauns in the crowd.

Once the kids stuff is done for the day, the adults in the crowd can party on with a glass of green beer as the Market Square Merchant's Association hosts the St. Patrick's Day Street Party. Of course, there will plenty of entertainment by the likes of the Bearded Irishmen, Wizard Bomb and Pittsburgh's very own Stickers, who will sham-rock the Square from 2-6 p.m. And as the sun goes down on everyone's inner Galway Bay, you can navigate the sea of green partiers to check out the indoor entertainment around the Square, from NOLA to the Fairmont Hotel and even Little E's on Liberty.

Now, we don't have to tell you that the Square is always a great place for a bite to eat or beverage or two. But when it comes to St. Patrick's Day, nearly all the eateries go that extra step or two to up their Irish a notch with special drinks and eats that will leave you thinking you're in old Killarney! Of course, from 2-6 p.m. every Irishman and woman 21 years or older will be able to responsibly consume an alcoholic brew outdoors in the Square itself on this day when every Pittsburgher has a more than bit of Irish in them.

Okay, keep in mind that tons of people will stream into Downtown for St. Patrick's Day. We highly recommend taking public transit for a safe and convenient celebration.  But if you're looking for a place to park your vehicle, most city garages offer all-day parking for $5. But remember that the third round of NCAA March Madness also will be taking place at Consol Energy Center, so you might want to get a space early in the day. And if you want to give your feet a break, just hail a green pedi-cab to safely shuttle you hither and yon around Downtown. The pipes are calling you, for sure, to celebrate a safe St. Paddy's Day in the Square.

1 comment:

  1. will market square be closed to those under 21 at 2 when the alcohol starts to flow?