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Identity & Community

What You Need to Know For Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

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Flickr user DrivingtheNortheast
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Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebration is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday. We’ve put together a list of what you need to know to make the most of the day.

Give yourself plenty of time to get downtown.

The parade doesn’t start until 10 a.m., but street closures along Liberty Avenue from 10th Street to 26th Street will begin around 7:30 a.m. The parade route itself will be closed starting at 9:30 a.m., according to Public Works Director Guy Costa.

“We ask … folks who are going to participate in the parade as well as spectators of the parade to be in town by 9:30 a.m.,” Costa said.

Open containers aren’t allowed, except when they are.

Open containers will be allowed from 2-5 p.m. in a confined section of Market Square. The “Irish Fair in the Square” event is family-focused from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., after which people over 21 can get wrist bands and mosey to the special open-container area. Entertainment will be provided by the Market Square Merchants Association. Some restaurants on the Square have been approved to serve alcohol in extended outdoor seating areas, as well. If you’re caught with an open container anywhere else, you’ll be asked to pour out your green beer and throw away your cup.

There will be lots of police officers around.

Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar said there will be increased law enforcement presence, including undercover officers, bicycle officers, K-9 units, traffic cops, Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies and state police.

“State police will be providing liquor control agents, enforcing sales to minors and serving visibly intoxicated persons, both … in the downtown area and on the South Side,” Bucar said.

Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies will be mounted on horses on the South Side. City Councilman Bruce Kraus, who represents the district, said the equestrian officers help lighten the mood and allow officers to engage with the partiers in a constructive way.

“The horses were a wonderful addition to the street,” Kraus said. “They offer up a real sense of structure and law and order, and yet they also sort of bridge the gap between public safety officials and the revelers.”

Definitely consider taking public transit.

If you do decide to drive to the South Side to party, don’t park on the residential streets so that people who live there can find a spot. Valet parking will be available at the intersections of East Carson Street and 21st, 18th and 11th streets. A taxi stand will be available from 12-3 p.m. on East Carson Street between 17th and 18th streets, and there will be pedicabs available from 2 p.m.-12 a.m. on East Carson Street at 18th Street.

You may also want to take a bus or the T if you’re not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day but are instead coming downtown for another event.

“There’s also a Penguins game, the Penguins Cup (high school championship) game right after that, we still have the Home and Garden Show going on at the Convention Center, and I’m sure there are shows in the Cultural District,” said Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Lt. Ed Trapp. “If you’re going to any of these events, keep in mind that traffic is going to be restricted, it’s going to be backed up despite our best efforts, so we encourage people going to those events, especially on Saturday, to use public transportation.”

Clean up your trash and don’t “go” outside.

There will be 45 extra trash cans set up along Carson Street as well as 30 portable toilets. Officials say you will get a ticket if you’re caught urinating in public.

For those who opt not to clean up their trash, Public Works Director Costa said his crews will move in as soon as the bars close at 2 a.m.

“They’re going to go in there with blowers to blow trash into piles, bring in street sweepers, bring in laborers, bring in whatever is necessary to get the South Side cleaned up overnight,” Costa said.