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Identity & Community

St. Patrick's Day Parade Activities To Begin With A Proclamation Tuesday

Even 23 inches of snow in 1993 was not enough to stop the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so organizers this year are hoping for a great turnout with the spring-like weather being predicted for Saturday. 

The March 14 parade is expected to include 23,000 participants, making it the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S.

The parade, which steps off at 10 a.m., will feature more than 200 units, including high school bands, bagpipers, drum corps, Irish dancers, Irish entertainers and groups of Irish organizations from throughout the region.  

“St. Patrick’s Day Parade is more than just a day. It’s an entire week of activities leading up to the parade,” said parade spokesman Tim O’Brien.

Pittsburgh City Council will make a proclamation Tuesday, and the crowning of Hannah O’Donoghue as Miss Smiling Irish Eyes officially comes on Friday.

Before the parade on March 14 there will be an 8 a.m. mass at St. Patrick’s Church in the Strip. Also during the parade there will be a family festival in Market Square with face painters, entertainers, and dancers from 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The parade begin at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, proceeds to Grant Street and then travels to the Boulevard of the Allies.  From there it turns right and heads past the reviewing stand at Stanwix Street, ending at Commonwealth Place.

At 2 p.m. the festivities turn to Market Square for a street party.

“It’s really a way for the city to come together and be Irish for a day. It’s a way for this region to celebrate its Irish heritage. It’s actually one of the first days of the year where the city comes out of their houses after a long winter and celebrates together in the outdoors and has a great time together,” said O’Brien.  

Marty Madigan has been chosen as the Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. He is the founder of the Irish Society for Education and Charities. He developed a Scholarship for the Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Pageant, and has served as president for Division 9 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.