Your Guide to St. Patrick's Day



In the caption to his photo on Flickr, Michael Righi says, "Possibly Photoshopped, but I'm not telling.;)"

Photo by Michael Righi

Seven St. Paddy’s Tips Every Pittsburgher Should Know

It’s a day so nice that Pittsburgh celebrates it twice. Whether you are gearing up for the revelry of the St. Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday, or waiting for the “official” celebration of Naomh Pádraig on March 17, here are seven things you need to know about our favorite Irish national holiday:

1. You should go to the parade
And not just to party either. The real fun is outside the bar along the parade route. Each year, as many as 250,000 spectators flock to downtown Pittsburgh to watch the parade—which features more than 200 marching units, including bagpipers, Irish dancers, Irish setters, floats, and even local celebrities. According to parade officials, Pittsburgh boasts the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country behind only New York City. Eat it, Boston.Photo by Sean Conboy

2. Just don’t show up to the wrong party
The parade starts early at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 13. But also be sure to remember that the parade route has changed this year. Instead of starting at Mellon Arena as it traditional has, the parade will kick off at the Greyhound Bus Station on Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, and concludes at Commonwealth Place. Just watch out when the Conboy Clan comes marching by. I heard those guys shoot green silly string into the crowd.

3. You can support a good cause, too
The Hibernian Hunger Project and the Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee are asking all parade goers to bring non-perishable food items for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. There will be collection sites at Mellon Arena, the Mayor Caliguiri statue at the City-County Building, and by the reviewing stand at the Steelworkers’ Building.

4. Making green beer is easy
Unfortunately, the traditional outdoor party in Market Square has been shut down this year due to ongoing construction (nothing says “liability” like beer and bulldozers in close proximity). While restaurants in Market Square will still be open for beer specials, making do-it-yourself green beer is actually quite easy. All you need is a few drops of green or blue food coloring and a light beer (or a yellow soda like Mountain Dew).

Click here to view a how-to gallery on DIYlife.com.

5. Irish eyes will be smiling
Each year, one lucky Pittsburgh woman is honored with the crown of Miss Smiling Irish Eyes. This year’s queen is Meghan Schiller, a junior at Carnegie Mellon University double majoring in Fine Arts Vocal Performance and English. Aside from her many academic achievements at CMU, Megan has worked with the Pittsburgh School for the Blind to raise funds for “Service for Sight,” an organization that provides aid to the blind and visually impaired. You’ll see her waving from atop a 45-foot float featuring a giant rainbow, hundreds of shimmering shamrocks, and—you guessed it—a giant pot of gold. No word yet if Mayor Ravenstahl has plans to use the gold to reduce the city’s deficit after the parade.Photo by Sean Conboy

6. We’re a very green city
Sure, hosting the 2010 World Environment Day is nice and all, but this city has been green long before the environmental accolades started rolling in. Did you know that nearly 15% of Pittsburgh residents have Irish roots? And on St. Patrick’s Day, another 75% claim to be Irish.

7. Actually, everyone is Irish
It doesn’t matter if your name is Callahan or Calabretta. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and the throngs of street vendors will supply you with plenty of green camouflage—from leprechaun hats to shillelaghs to shamrock sunglasses. It’s practically a mini-Mardi Gras.

Sláinte! (To your health, mate!)

p.s. In the southern and western parts of Ireland, you'd pronounce that "slawnt-yeh" or "slant-yeh." In the north it's "slain-cheh."


Photo by Michael Righi

Celebrating the REAL St. Patrick's Day

If we’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day, forgive me for making a stern point right off the bat: St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. It is not “whatever day the parade happens.” You’re free to enjoy the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, by all means. (FYI: It’s Sat., March 13, beginning at 10 a.m., downtown. Info: pittsburghirish.org/ parade.) But please, for the love of St. Patrick (a real person, mind you), celebrate on the proper day as well. This is Pittsburgh—since when are we afraid to drink on a Wednesday?

In any case, I’m of two minds when it comes to recommending a pub for your Gaelic revels. Pittsburgh’s most authentic and welcoming Irish pub is certainly Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle in the Strip District, which promises an all-day and all-night lineup of Irish music, both in the restaurant and at a tent party in its parking lot on both the proper holiday and parade day.

Photo by Sean ConboySome of my favorite food and beer in the city, though, can be found at Claddagh Irish Pub in SouthSide Works. Don’t feel compelled to pick one or the other, though—find a designated driver, have dinner at Claddagh, then drink and dance the night away at Harp & Fiddle. But whatever you do, do it on the 17th. (Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Ave., Strip District. Info: 412/642-6622, harpandfiddle.com. Claddagh Irish Pub, 407 Cinema Drive, SouthSide Works, South Side. Info: 412/381-4800, claddaghirishpubs.com).


Our thanks to Michael Righi, whose terrific photos were posted under Creative Commons license on his Flickr photostream. Have St. Patrick's Day 2010 photos you'd like to share with us? Send us a link to your online postings, or email them to jwander@pittsburghmagazine.com, and we may post them in an upcoming gallery.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space for more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians vote to go on strike.
Strip District's Savoy Seeks to Refresh and Renew

Strip District's Savoy Seeks to Refresh and Renew

The restaurant debuts a new lounge and has plans for refocused menu and more.
Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.
See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

Directed and starring Denzel Washington, the first big screen treatment of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space for more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

The things that are best about us? They’re not things. They’re ways.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Contract for PSO is a No Go

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians vote to go on strike.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
e2 to Close in Highland Park

e2 to Close in Highland Park

Chef/owner Kate Romane will move on to a new project.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Halloween Hotlist: 10 Events That Prove Scaring is Caring

Halloween Hotlist: 10 Events That Prove Scaring is Caring

Pittsburgh is a wicked destination for spooky shenanigans. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Of all that conspired to derail the Pirates after three consecutive trips to the playoffs, the unanticipated implosions of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano proved, in retrospect, to be more of a deal-breaker than anything else.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

The geometric set is available through the hip Ace Hotel shop.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Surprise: Deepwater Horizon is Quite Good

Surprise: Deepwater Horizon is Quite Good

Reviews of "Deepwater Horizon" and "Queen of Katwe," along with local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Mecox will be opening its eighth location, but its first in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education

Thiel College to Break Ground on New Science Facility

The project will cost $4.5 million and will connect two previously existing structures.

Comments