Tens of thousands on hand for St. Patrick's Day parade Downtown
Catching candy and beads thrown from floats, tens of thousands of green-clad revelers jammed Downtown streets as the annual St. Patrick's Day parade stepped off in Pittsburgh this morning.
The parade is expected to last until about noon, though rolling street closures and bus detours could continue some time afterwards.
At establishments in and around the city, the green beer is chilled and police are on patrol.
"It's controlled chaos," said Rick Faust, manager of the Original Oyster House in Market Square. "We're quite happy with the chaos."
Event organizers said the usual crowds number between 150,000 and 200,000 people each year for the parade through Downtown.
There have been problems during past celebrations, including drunken brawls in Market Square.
Last year, police arrested a man who threatened to dress in a gorilla suit and shoot parade spectators. Police said they made several dozen other arrests and issued citations for offenses such as resisting arrest, public intoxication and open container violations.
Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard would not say how many officers are on patrol, or if there will be an increased presence from past years. She said police and Liquor Control Enforcement agents will be in the South Side and Market Square ,and police will patrol the North Shore.
"The drinking and other things start early," Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss said. "We want to be out there."
To avoid problems in Market Square, the city established a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration. It runs until 2 p.m., before the square opens to adult festivities, including street sales of beer from 2 to 5:30 p.m.
The Market Square Association also hires private security to monitor an entrance to the square during the adult celebration, Faust said.
"It's a different crowd, so we treat it a little differently," NOLA Manager Jerry Fink said, adding that a security guard will be at the front door.
Faust said the square can hold between 8,000 and 10,000 people, and usually it's packed.
"You could body surf from the Oyster House over to Primanti Bros., and nobody would probably notice you bouncing over their head," Faust said.
New this year is a free shuttle service between the Second Avenue lot at the 10th Street Bridge and South Side Works from noon Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday. South Side employees and visitors are urged to park for free at the Second Avenue lot, and shuttles will run every 15 minutes along the East Carson Street corridor.
The Port Authority will detour Downtown and Strip District buses through 2:30 p.m.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Squirrel Hill Tunnel workers cope with speeders, exhaust fumes
- West Allegheny School District scraps landfill tax over legal questions
- Pennsylvania Resources Council puts hazardous materials in their place
- Emails show Allegheny County Council staff investigated potential snooping
- Sewickley man dies in Route 28 motorcycle accident
- Fire at Indiana County lumber yard appears accidental; loss set at $350K
- Report blames pilot for 2011 Hawaii crash that killed Pittsburgh couple
- Save-the-map appeal generates $10K online to revitalize North Side artwork
- Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion