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Final Preparations Underway For St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The City of Pittsburgh is putting the finishing touches on this weekend's St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

The annual parade begins Saturday morning and will wind its way through Downtown. More than 200,000 people are expected to watch.

The 23,000 marching in the parade will step off and head down Grant Street at 10 a.m., meaning Grant Street intersections and those on the Boulevard of the Allies will be closed for the parade.

"The main arteries will be closed and it's going to be a little confusing, but expect delays, there's definitely going to be delays tomorrow, especially with all the closures that we have planned," said Pittsburgh Operations Chief Guy Costa.

It's not that big a deal for parade-goers who will be in place by then, but there is an 11 a.m. show of "Disney On Ice presents Frozen," and Elsa, Anna and Olaf fans need to get to the arena.

Costa says stick to the parkways all the way to the arena off the Crosstown Expressway. From the west, take the Grant Street ramp and up Ross Street to CONSOL Energy Center.

Meanwhile, they were spiffing up Market Square for Saturday's festivities, which will be a non-alcohol till 1 p.m.

"Then, at 2 [p.m.], that's when our entertainment starts," said event coordinator Casey Mahaven. "From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., you can have open containers in Market Square.

And, don't forget, if you're heading to the South Side, the Second Avenue Parking Lot will be open and free with a shuttle. You just have make sure you pick up your car by noon Sunday.


"The circulator will be going up and down Carson Street from 7 a.m. till 4 a.m.," said Chad Stepanik, of Shuttle Operations and Yellow Cab.

The idea is to reduce DUI issues, and expect to see police from a host of entities.

"South Side is going to be saturated with a lot of officers, only to make it safe," said Costa.

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With the music playing Friday night, folks at Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle in the Strip District were getting an early start celebrating the luck of the Irish.

"I just love the Irish. Being happy. Irish people are happy. Just like having a good time for sure," Mary Smith, of Eighty-Four, said.

Suzan Hauptman, of Squirrel Hill, is among many who have a lease at the garage on the Boulevard of the Allies.

"I'm glad that I know I'm going to be safe on Monday and there's not going to be all sorts of whatever in the garage," Hauptman said.

"I know St. Patrick's Day festivities can get pretty carried away in the South Side and down here, so maybe restricting things isn't a terrible idea because people bring families and stuff. It can get pretty wild," Shelby Wasil, of Mars, said.

The South Side doesn't bring fun for everyone though.

"It's a really bad day for those who live very close to Carson Street. We tolerate it but we'll be cleaning it up on Sunday morning," South Side resident Susan Booth said.

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