The greening of Pittsburgh: Lots to do to celebrate the holiday

Green hats, green beads, green hair, green beer -- green everything Saturday for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and party Downtown.

Pittsburghers love a party, make that double for a free one, which is why this is billed as the second biggest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the country (after New York). Boston, by the way, also bills its parade as the No. 2.

Pittsburgh's will feature 23,000 participants, with 18 marching bands mixed among 200 marching units, floats and groups representing several Irish heritage and other ethnic organizations.

The 2014 grand marshal is Pittsburgh lawyer and Duquesne University grad Jack Goodrich, and Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2014 is Ciara Scanlon Crossey, a Bishop Canevin High School grad from Crafton now attending John Carroll University.

Before the parade there will be a Parade Day Mass at 8 a.m. at St. Patrick Church in the Strip District.

The parade launches at 10 a.m. at the Greyhound Bus Station (Liberty Avenue and 11th Street), proceeds to Grant Street, turns right at the Boulevard of the Allies and disburses at Commonwealth Place.

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On Friday, the crowning of 2014 Miss Smiling Irish Eyes by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald takes place at noon at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, Downtown. The $25 ticket includes buffet.


During parade hours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Market Square will host family-friendly activities, including face painting for kids, street performances from buskers, Irish music and dance from Celtic Shores, Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance and the Pittsburgh Ceili Club. The Ceili Club will teach Irish dance and invite the public to join in the fun.

After the parade, the party continues in Market Square with music by Bastard Bearded Irishman (1-2:30 p.m.), The Stickers (3-4 p.m.) and the Alex Talbot Duo (4:30-5:30 p.m.).

Restaurants will be serving beer on their patios until 2 p.m. At 2 p.m., open containers will be allowed in the streets. (Last pour is 5:30 p.m. and the event ends at 6.)

The Stickers cross over from the country scene, where the band has been on a steady rise. The band made its New York debut in January, opening for Kellie Pickler at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. The trio of Wodarek brothers Joe, Jim and John is also working on a new album in Nashville, where it was invited as guests of the Grand Ole Opry. Watch for fliers at the parade for The Stickers' "It's All About the Mike's Party" Sweepstakes with Mike's Hard Lemonade, where you can win enter a backyard party with the band.


On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fifth Avenue Place presents St. Patrick's Day Parade Family Fun with music by violinist Steven Vance, face painting and crafts from the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. It's free.

Lots of bands will be pulling double duty on Saturday, but none bigger than Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Pittsburgh's best answer to the Pogues.

The band, now it its sixth year, will play Market Square at 1 p.m. and then headline the Rex Theater Saturday night.

The BBI have a new album coming this spring and will be playing some new songs at the show. This is also their first St. Paddy's Day with new fiddler Paul Dvorchak, who joined last June. The band will have a free bus shuttle running from the Rex to Station Square.

You can hear the band on the WDVE Morning Show Friday.

Here are the listings:


2329 Penn Ave., Strip; 412-642-6622

Tonight: Red Hand Paddy performs “Finnegan’s Wake” (8 p.m.).

Friday: Red Hand Paddy (9 p.m.).

Saturday: Inside: Mark Guiser (noon); Whiskey Limerick (4 p.m.); Red Hand Paddy (8 p.m.). Outside in the tent: Donny Irish (1 p.m.); Johnny Gallagher (5 p.m.); Guaranteed Irish (7:30 p.m.).

Monday: Inside: Mark Guiser (noon); Whiskey Limerick (4 p.m.); Red Hand Paddy (8 p.m.). Tent: Ricky Manning (4 p.m.); Guaranteed Irish (7:30 p.m.).


SouthSide Works, South Side; 412-381-4800

Friday: Wild Geese (6-8 p.m.).

Saturday: The St. Baldrick’s Foundation annual head-shaving fundraiser (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), where participants raise funds in advance and shave their heads for pediatric cancer research. Music by Que Ball, Ceann and Irish Pretenders, plus bagpipers and dancers.

Sunday: Paddy’s Family Day (11 a.m.-10 p.m.); Irish jam session (7-9 p.m.)

Monday: 9 a.m. for Kegs & Eggs. Tom Hagley (noon-2 p.m.); Uncle Festers (4-7 p.m.); DJ Haze (9 p.m.-close). Also, Irish Step Dancers, Bagpipers & the Heineken Girls.


1602 E. Carson St., South Side; 412-381-6811

Saturday: Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Chrome Moses and Johnny and the Apple Stompers, 7 p.m., 21+; $12 in advance/$14 day of show. There will be a complimentary shuttle bus from Station Square to the Rex Theater from 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m.


Station Square, South Side; 412-481-7625

Saturday: Blarney Bash with My Hero Zero, The Delaneys, Zig & Friends, Jay Wiley. 8:30 a.m.; free.


200 Federal St., North Shore, 412-231-1112

Saturday: Red Hand Paddy (2-5:30 p.m.).


285 Northgate Drive, Marshall; 724-799-8333

Saturday: Callan (3 p.m.).


One Oxford Centre, Downtown, 412-235-7984

Saturday: Mike Gallagher (noon-4 p.m.).


395 Jacks Run Road, Ross, 412-931-1690

Monday: Mike Gallagher (6-10 p.m.).


818 Fifth Ave., Downtown, 412-261-2215

Saturday: Guaranteed Irish (noon-4 p.m.).


3105 Banksville Road, Dormont, 412-207-9397

Saturday: Paddys Drunken Uncles (8 p.m.).


329 Castle Shannon Blvd., Mt. Lebanon; 412-207-8325

Saturday: Paddys Drunken Uncles (3 p.m.)

First Published March 12, 2014 10:34 PM

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