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Pittsburgh Prepares For St. Paddy's Day Celebrations

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- You may already know that the first Mayor of Pittsburgh, Ebenezer Denny, was an Irishman.

And James O'Hara, one of the city's first businessmen, hailed from the 'Old Sod.'

And the "Irish-Hibernian Baseball Team" captured hearts at the turn of the last century.

They, and their ancestors, the Gannons, O'Gradys, O'Neils and McMahons, will step off this March 15 for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade -- 144-years of celebrating the Irish.

There will also be 23,000 marching bands, politicians -- not to mention wolf hounds and setters will leave at 10 a.m. from the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, winding away to the review stand at the Boulevard of the Allies at Stanwix Street.

All of this under the watch of "Miss Smiling Irish Eyes" 2014, Ciara Crossey of Crafton -- rain, shine or snow, as we know.

The 1936 flood nearly did us in. But in '93, intrepid sons and daughters of Ireland paraded through a blizzard.

Before this year's parade, there'll be a Mass at St. Patrick Church in the Strip -- praying for good weather no doubt.

"They've been buying. They come in for "Mardi Gras," then add some for St. Patrick's Day," said Marcia Feinberg.

At "Feinbergs" on Penn Avenue. green wares of every shape, size and purpose can be found, including the official T-shirt.

"We have over 600 St. Patrick's Day (items) alone. Between the beads, the inflatables and make-up and hair," says Feinberg.

And if you're tempted to get "blathered" on the big day, remember, no open containers along the parade route - and stay on the sidewalk, because the fines are stiffer than the drinks.

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