By Paige Owens
PITTSBURGH, Pa.—St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated early this year, as the annual St. Patty’s Day Parade commenced on Saturday March 14 in Downtown Pittsburgh. Although the skies were grey, and the temperature peaked in the upper 40s, paradegoers stayed dry and warm under tents, umbrellas, and sipping on coffee.
The Boulevard of the Allies was flooded with a sea of green T-shirts, shamrock shaped glasses, and dancing leprechauns as the parade began at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Spectators gathered on the sidewalks, in parking garages, in bars, and in coffee shops along the streets to get a view of the festivities.
Pittsburgh’s St. Patty’s Day Parade is a tradition that has been celebrated since March 1869, according to Pittsburgh Irish online. Each year, the parade can be heard throughout the streets as bagpipes are played, horses trot down the pavement, and those dressed as leprechauns and in green costumes greet the children that have gathered to enjoy the tradition.
According to the official press release which included a list of events for Saturday morning and afternoon, the annual parade is the second largest in the country, which features over 23,000 participants and 200 marching units.
Point Park University senior, Vince Naglic, sported a green T-shirt and baseball cap as he celebrated with his friends along the Boulevard in front of the Point Park apartment building.
“It’s been great attending Point Park for my past four years of college because it’s nearly impossible to miss the parade,” Naglic said. “I’m sad that I’ll be graduating in May, but I’m sure I’ll be back down to celebrate with my buddies next year!”
After the parade concluded at 1 p.m. the festivities continued in the Strip District, Southside, and in Market Square. Market Square hosted a party with live music, food, and of course, drinking for those of age.
Despite the rain, the parade and celebration was a great success, as it is year after year.