Pittsburgh's 2013 St. Patrick's Day parade will feature some new features likely to appeal to young people and children, event chairman Patrick O'Brien said.
"We're adding a lot more things that kids can enjoy," he said.
New to the parade this year will be ponies from Dream Horse Stables in Derry; marchers from the Rebel Legion, an international "Star Wars" costuming organization; and players from the National Junior Prospects Hockey League.
This year's parade will have 190 entrants and as many as 24,000 participants.
Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, is grand marshal. His previous jobs include assistant administrator in the federal Department of Homeland Security, executive director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and director of the city's Department of Public Safety.
Irish officials taking part in the event include Pat Rabbitte, a Labour Party politician who is minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; and Peter Ryan, deputy consul general in New York City.
One of the new floats in the parade this year will feature the "22 Quties" who were participants in a recent pageant for girls with special needs.
Other new attractions will be directed toward adults. One is a float sponsored by the newly revived Duquesne Brewing Co.
The annual event gets under way at 10 a.m. Saturday from 11th Street and Liberty Avenue. The route will follow Grant Street and Boulevard of the Allies, ending at Commonwealth Place.
-- By Len Barcousky