5 Don't-Miss Events in Pittsburgh's St. Patrick's Week Celebration

Everything you need to know, plus a survival guide for the parade.

Photos by Dave Cole


In Pittsburgh, St. Patrick’s Day is much more than a day to celebrate Irish heritage and traditions — it's actually a week. We’ve got a significant Irish population and the second-largest St. Paddy’s Day parade in the United States. Thus, the week prior to the parade is declared “St. Patrick’s Week in Pittsburgh.” So let's get this party started with a rundown of five main events.



Friday, March 6 — St. Patrick’s Parade Button Party

Where: Mitchell’s Pub, 304 Ross St., downtown
When: 5-7:30 p.m.
What: Spend $30 and get a St. Patrick’s parade button, a Mitchell’s buffet and drinks. If St. Patrick’s Day is your favorite holiday, this is the place for you.


photo via flickr


Sunday, March 8  – AOH Division 9/Allegheny County Communion Breakfast

Where: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh Hotel – Green Tree, 500 Mansfield Ave., Green Tree
When: 10 a.m.
What: Meet this year’s parade Grand Marshal, first-generation American Martin Madigan. He is one of six children to parents from County Galway, Ireland, and founded the Irish Society for Education and Charities in Pittsburgh. Madigan was born and raised in Pittsburgh — he attended St. Agnes Catholic School in Oakland and was one of the first men to attend Carlow University. Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and her court will address the crowd after the traditional Mass ends.


photo via flickr


Friday, March 13 – Crowning of 2015 Miss Smiling Irish Eyes

Where: Rivers Club, 301 Grant St., One Oxford Centre, downtown
When: Noon
What: Stop by to see Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald crown Miss Smiling Irish Eyes. The $25 event ticket includes a buffet luncheon.


photo via flickr


Saturday, March 14 – Parade Day Mass 

Where: St. Patrick Church in the Strip District
When: 8 a.m.
What: Whether you’re Irish or not, all are welcome to begin the day with a traditional Catholic Mass in the “true spirit” of St. Patrick. It starts early to leave parade-goers plenty of time to get a good spot.



Saturday, March 14 – The Parade!

Where: downtown, parade begins at Greyhound Station (Liberty Avenue and 11th Street)
When: 10 a.m.

The part of the map in purple is the staging area. More than 23,000 participants, including 18 marching bands, will march through the streets of downtown lead by Grand Marshal Madigan. St. Patrick himself will even make an appearance. Get there early to snag the best spot for candy catching and float watching. It's not unusual for the parade to last well past 1 p.m. This is a very Irish city. Prepare accordingly.


The essentials:

How do I get there?
Well unless you can teleport, you’d better leave early to beat traffic. The parade starts at 10 a.m. sharp — it will not wait for you to find a parking spot. Check out your options in advance at the Pittsburgh Parking Authority website

You also can take the bus or T service downtown; its website lists full schedules. Or you could test out one of the ride-sharing companies: Uber and Lyft.


How do I share my parade photos with all of Pittsburgh and become instantly famous?
First, like us on Facebook. Then upload your photos to Instagram with the tag @pittsburghmagazine for a chance to be featured in this very blog.

Categories: The 412