St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Parties; Donnie Iris Birthday Concert w/The Clarks at UPMC Events Center (Sat., 3/11/23)

1) If your neighborhood seems a little quiet the morning of March 11, it may be because over 200,000 Pittsburghers and visitors are downtown for The St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Having begun as early as 1869 and billed as one of the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, it includes bands, Irish organizations, Miss Smiling Irish Eyes, and just about every politician in Allegheny County. The 2023 Grand Marshal is Pittsburgh Playwright and retired ad-man, Ray Werner, and Miss Smiling Irish Eyes is Marigrace Murphy. Members of the Queen’s court are Emalee Eakin and Aibreann Shovlin.

Each year brings something slightly different, although who could forget the 1993 parade? It continued despite a blizzard, the worst that the city had seen in over 100 years. (Hopefully no snow this year.) 

The parade begins at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, proceeds to Grant Street, and turns right onto the Boulevard of the Allies. Then it marches down the Boulevard to the parade reviewing stand at Stanwix Street and ends at Commonwealth Place.

Remember, anyone who wants to be Irish—is Irish—on St. Paddy’s Day! Parade starts at 10 a.m. Downtown. (R.H.)

Parade Day Bar Happenings

The day and eve of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade make a good time to have a taste of Ireland’s native waters. (Guinness, Harp, and Murphy’s brews are some good ones as are Tullamore D.E.W. and Jameson Irish whiskies.) Have an old Irish toast, such as “May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you’re dead,” in any of several happenin’ Irish pubs including Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, McArdle’s, Murphy’s Taproom, McFadden’s, and Riley’s Pour House. For those who don’t imbibe or are designated drivers (thank you!), enjoy a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, a soft drink, or a cup o’ hot tea. (RH)

One of the most popular spots to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Day is Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle. The pub will open at 8 a.m. and serve a parade day breakfast. With a tent connected to the pub, the celebration space is doubled. Irish bands and performers hold court all day and night in both spaces beginning at noon and going until about 1 a.m. Mullaney’s will be featuring the top bands on the Pittsburgh Irish music scene including: Donnie Irish Band, Whiskey LimerickTullycavy, Andy & Brian, Mark Guiser, and Guaranteed Irish. Mullaney’s will also feature a big party on the actual St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, with the tent remaining and live music in both spaces. The same bands will be reprising their performances. 2329 Penn Ave., Strip District. (RH)

Think traditional Celtic music but with some extra beats per minute—that’s Bastard Bearded Irishmen. The local group is helping Pittsburgh usher in St. Patrick’s Day with its annual Bastard Bearded Irishfest at Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall. The band performed at the Thrival Music Festival in 2016. Its latest album is 2018’s Drinkin’ to the Dead. Also on the bill are The Bloody Seamen, The Wild Geese, Tiny Wars, Wired Tae the Moon, and on the Front Porch Stage you can listen to Bob Banergee, The Jive Daisy, and several special guests. Bar doors open at 4 p.m., Music Hall at 5 p.m.(C.M., R.H.)

Hard Rock Cafe is hosting their annual parade day party. Many people will flock there to see live music beginning at 12:30 p.m. with free music from Rich Patrick Trio playing traditional Irish sing-alongs form 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m., then Acoustic Boombox rocks the house from 4 to 6 p.m.. Hello City: A Tribute to Barenaked Ladies closes out the day starting at 8 p.m. for a ticketed event. 230 W. Station Square Dr., Station Square. (R.H.)



2) Area native Donnie Iris, aka King Cool, is performing at the UPMC Events Center with his band, The Cruisers. It is a celebration of his 80th birthday. Sure to be on the set list are top favorites including “Ah Leah” and “Love Is Like a Rock.” Iris was once a member of the Pittsburgh group The Jaggerz in the early ’70s who had a monster hit with the “The Rapper,” which reached no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Helping Iris celebrate is another top Pittsburgh band, The Clarks. Special guest is The Vindys. 7 p.m. 6001 University Blvd., RMU, Moon Twp. (R.H.)

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Rick Handler

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