Pittsburgh bans open containers of alcohol in Market Square on St. Patrick’s Day | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh bans open containers of alcohol in Market Square on St. Patrick’s Day

Bob Bauder
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Partiers crowd into Market Square in Pittsburgh after a past St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Olivia Rehak, 20, and Alex Cooper, 20, both of Oakland, dance together in Market Square during Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2016.

For years, Pittsburgh allowed St. Patrick’s Day revelers to openly drink alcohol in Market Square.

No longer.

The city Tuesday announced street closures and other preparations — including the banning of open containers of alcohol in Market Square — for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration. Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said Market Square businesses in the past secured a permit that allowed an area to be designated for open containers.

They didn’t seek a permit this year and police will enforce the city’s open container ordinance, he said.

“Anyone who has an open container will be cited,” he said.

Visitors can still imbibe at bars and restaurants in the popular Downtown landmark and on their patios.

The Irish Society for Education & Charity Inc., which organizes the parade, is hosting a family-friendly celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the square.

Pittsburgh will close Liberty Avenue, Grant Street, the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street, all Downtown, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday in preparation for the parade, which runs from 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m.

Hissrich said police will be out in force and will include drunken driving patrols. He warned that officers will be on the lookout for underage drinkers and other bad behavior and advised visitors to use public transportation or taxis if they are intoxicated. City police cars from the Zone 2 station will feature a special emblem in celebration of the Irish holiday.

University students could face discipline from their schools if arrested, Hissrich said. He said the warning went out in a letter to students of the city’s major universities.

He said liquor control enforcement agents will be undercover to assure that bars and restaurants don’t serve alcohol to those under 21.

Pedestrians are encouraged to wear light-colored clothing visible to drivers and refrain from wearing headphones while walking.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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