Olympians to march in Pittsburgh's St. Patrick's Day Parade

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Two Olympic athletes will be among the marchers when Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade gets underway Downtown at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Beaver County native Lauren Williams and Irish boxer Michael Carruth will take part in what is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the nation.

Ms. Williams earned medals in both summer and winter Olympic competitions. She won a gold medal in track in the 2012 London games, a silver medal in track in 2004 in Athens, and a silver medal in the bobsled event this year in Sochi.

Mr. Carruth won the gold medal in welterweight boxing at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

In addition to the two Olympians, this year’s parade will feature 18 bands, 200 marching units, about 23,000 participants and multiple floats. Parade chairman Patrick O’Brien said spectators lining Downtown streets also will see cars from the movies “Back to the Future,” “Jurassic Park,” “Ghostbusters” and “The Dukes of Hazard.”

The annual event is sponsored by The Irish Society for Education & Charity and is produced by Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Parade Committee.

The parade is the biggest in a series of events honoring Ireland’s patron saint. Others include a communion breakfast that was held Sunday and the proclamation on Tuesday of “St. Patrick’s Week in Pittsburgh.”

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will crown Miss Smiling Irish Eyes on Friday. Saturday’s parade will be preceded by an 8 a.m. Mass in St. Patrick’s Church in the Strip District.

This year’s parade will begin at the Greyhound Bus Terminal at Liberty Avenue and 11th Street.

Parade participants, led by St. Patrick, Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and Grand Marshal Jack Goodrich, will march along Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies and along the boulevard to the reviewing stand at Stanwix Street.

Mr. Carruth also will coach Team Ireland in a series of amateur boxing matches against Team Pittsburgh on Monday. The sold-out “Donnybrook” will take place in the Grand Hall at the Priory on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Proceeds from this St. Patrick’s Day event will benefit the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, The Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League and the Hibernian Celtic Athletic Fund.

For more information about Saturday’s march and related events: pittsburghirish.org/parade/.

Len Barcousky: lbarcousky@post-gazette.com or 724-772-0184.

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