St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a passionate city. We take everything to the extreme -- sports, food, and especially holiday celebrations.

It's almost St. Patrick's Day. Time to get out your green and celebrate! According to Travel + Leisure and Niche, "St. Patrick’s Day is best celebrated in Pittsburgh given that 14% of the population is Irish." The 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade is dedicated to the celebration of the life of the late Dan Rooney, former Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman. Whether you're Irish or not, you'll want to join in the fun!

The Events

Crowning of Miss Smiling Irish Eyes by Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald

  • Date: March 15
  • Time: 12 pm
  • Location: River's Club, Oxford Center (Downtown) at 12 Noon
  • Description: Luncheon cost $30 and includes buffet. RSVP in advance

St. Patrick's Day Party

  • Date: March 16
  • Time:  5pm – 12 am
  • Location: Howl at the Moon, Downtown
  • Description: Prizes and giveaways all night. Free cover if you are wearing green.

Parade Day Mass at St. Patrick's Church in the Strip District

  • Date: March 17
  • Time: 8 am
  • Location: St. Patrick's Church in the Strip District
  • Description: Interested parade-goers and marchers can start their day off in the true spirit of St. Patrick with Roman Catholic Mass.

The 2018 St. Patrick's Parade

  • Date: March 17
  • Time: 10 am
  • Location: Downtown
  • Description: Second largest St. Patrick's Parade in the USA. 23,000 participants expected. 200 marching units including 18 marching bands. Floats and many other groups representing several Irish heritage and other ethnic heritage organizations. Participants will include the 2018 Grand Marshal Margaret "Maggie Cloonan," Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2018 - Madeline Evans, along with St. Patrick himself.

Irish Fair in the Square

  • Date: March 17
  • Time: Family Portion is 10 am - 1 pm; Adult Celebration 2 pm - 5:30 pm.
  • Location: Downtown Market Square
  • Description:  After the parade, head to Market Square for Irish Fair in the Square, the ultimate family-friendly, alcohol-free St. Patrick's Day party that lasts until evening. While this year's events have yet to be announced, you can count on great food and awesome live music.

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

  • Date: March 17
  • Location: Carnegie Library – Downtown, Smithfield Street
  • Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
  • Description: Stop in after the parade and join us for St. Patrick's Day crafts, activities and music for kids and families. No registration required.

Drinking Partners Present: A Night of EPIC Comedy

  • Date: March 17
  • Time: 9 – 11 pm
  • Location: Arcade Comedy Theater
  • Description: The Drinking Partners, 2x winners of Pittsburgh City Paper's "Best of The Burgh," present a pairing of the city's best booze and comedians. Featuring Blair Parker, Tim Cornett, and Mike Sasson. Free craft beer via Fury Brewing.
St. Patrick's Day 2016. Photo Credit: KDKA

The Parade

Did you know that Pittsburgh hosts one of the largest St. Patrick's Day Parades in the United States? Well, we do! Like I said - we're passionate. Pittsburghers line up hours before the start of the parade to get a piece of the action. 200 + groups are participating this year!

The St. Patrick's Parade begins at 10 am on Saturday March 11 and will run through Downtown Pittsburgh and the Strip District. The parade happens rain, snow, or shine, so be prepared and dress appropriately. Open containers are not allowed on the parade route and officers will be out and about, so plan your celebrations for before and after the parade.

The 2018 parade will follow the same route as last year. The parade will proceed from the intersection of Liberty and 11th Streets to Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies, where it will turn right and continue onto the Boulevard of the Allies to the Reviewing Stand at Stanwix Street. It will then disburse at Commonwealth Place. Check out some fun parade history to get your Irish eyes smiling.

Parade Route

Fun Facts About the St. Patrick's Day Parade:

  • The parade route is 1.4 miles from start to end
  • This is the 148th Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • The parade typically attracts from 200,000-350,000 spectators
  • There will be more than 200 marching units, bands, and floats
  • The Pittsburgh parade is one of the largest parades in the nation
  • Western Pennsylvanians who claim Irish-American heritage are one of the largest segments of the population
  • The parade is held in the rain, snow or shine, and happened even in the 1993 blizzard!
  • The parade generates millions in economic impact for Pittsburgh
  • The parade is always the Saturday before or on the actual St. Patrick's Day holiday
  • You can buy an official commemorative Pittsburgh parade tee shirt at the WELCOME Pittsburgh Information & Gift Shop located at 120 Fifth Avenue - right in the middle of the action!

Transportation Logistics

Downtown Parking Options: Street parking will be heavily restricted. Visit the Parking Authority website for a list of downtown lots and garages and their rates.

Public Transit: Check the Port Authority schedules for bus and T service. More than 40 bus routes serving Downtown and the Strip District will have detours and/or temporary stop changes on the morning of the parade.

Street Closures: Pittsburgh police will announce a list of downtown street closures in the days leading up to the parade. Make sure to check them before you head out!

However you choose to celebrate the luck of the Irish, stay safe and have fun!

Top Photo credit: Pennlive