Almost 200,000 People Expected to Turn Out for St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration (CP’s Sat. 3/16/13)

1) There’s no doubt about what the number one pick is today — The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Pittsburgh. Billed as the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Country, over 23,000 people will march in the parade including bands, Irish organizations, “Miss Smiling Irish Eyes” and every politician on the planet. Almost 200,000 people will be in town to enjoy the parade and festivities. The parade will proceed from the intersection of Liberty and 11th Streets to Grant Street, then onto the Boulevard of the Allies, where it will turn right; then marches down the Boulevard of the Allies to the parade reviewing stand at Stanwix Street, ending at Commonwealth Place. Remember, anyone who wants to be Irish–is Irish–on St. Paddy’s Day! Parade starts at 10 a.m. Downtown.

2) Market Square, during the parade, will host a family friendly Fair in The Square. Events and activities include live music, face painting for children, street performers and other fun play (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.).  Post-parade (officially 2 p.m.) there will be a more adult-oriented focus includes green beer and street vendors from neighborhood bars and restaurants, with the chance to dance the day away during a free concert. Market Square, Downtown.

3) St. Patrick’s Day is a  time to have a taste of Ireland’s native waters (Guinness, Harp and Murphy’s brews; Tullamore Dew and Jameson  Irish Whiskies are a few good ones). Have an old Irish toast (“may you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows your dead”) in one of several happenin’ Irish pubs including Mullaney’s Harp & FiddleMcArdlesMurphy’s Tap Room and Claddagh.  For those who don’t imbibe or are designated drivers (thank you!) enjoy a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew or cup o’hot tea.

4) For people who aren’t that in to St. Patrick’s Day, the New York Rangers are in our green city to take on the Pens in a hockey battle beginning at 1 p.m. Consol Energy Center. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.

Deborah McDonald also contributed to the St. Patrick’s Day Cool Picks.