St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh

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

Pittsburgh is a passionate city. We take everything to the extreme -- sports, food, and especially holiday celebrations. So get ready, because St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, and Pittsburghers do it up right. This post will give you all the info you need to partake in the upcoming festivities, plan how to best enjoy the parade, and get there and back safely & efficiently. 

Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Rides in A Carriage

The Events 

  • Crowning of Miss Smiling Irish Eyes by Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald
    Date: Thursday, March 9, 2017
    Time: 12 pm
    Location: River's Club, Oxford Center (Downtown) at 12 Noon
    Description: Luncheon cost $30 and includes buffet. RSVP in advance
  • Parade Day Mass at St. Patrick's Church in the Strip District
    Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
    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 2017 St. Patrick's Parade
    Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
    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 2017 Grand Marshal Jan Griffith, and the yet to be announced Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2017, along with St. Patrick Himself.
  • Irish Fair in the Square
    Date: March 11, 2017 
     Family Portion is 10 am - 1 pm; Adult Celebration 2 pm - 5:30 pm.
    Location: Downtown Market Square
    Description: On stage will be "Weekend at Blarneys" and Irish dance performances from Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance & the Pittsburgh Ceili Club. Buskers will entertain, and the little lads and lasses will be able to have their faces painted for the holiday! The street party turns into an adult celebration at 2 pm, with live bands, green beer for sale & open containers permitted throughout the plaza. Last call is typically 5:30 pm.

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 plus groups are participating - check them all out here

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 2017 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

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

  • The parade route is 1.4 miles from start to end
  • This is the 147th 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!  
Bagpipers in the Parade.

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!