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City Officials, Businesses Expecting Record Crowds For St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It's the eve of Saint Patrick's Day, and the whole city is "seeing green."

Final preparations for the annual parade are underway, the road closures are about to go into place and people are already walking around in green.

The beer arrived at Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle in the Strip District on Friday morning. It's just one of the many places gearing up for the city's annual parade and celebration.

The Guinness is arriving by the truckload.

Pittsburgh bars are expecting record crowds since this year's parade actually falls on St. Patrick's Day.

"This is our Christmas, our everything rolled up in one," said David Regan, the Harp & Fiddle's general manager.

Regan will spend Friday cramming in last-minute errands.

"Buying beer, buying liquor, buying food, there's a lot that goes into it, but it's well worth it," said Regan.

He's expecting thousands, which is why he's setting up a huge outdoor tent with an additional bar, and is also rolling in the Porta Potties.

"At any one time, there's usually 700, but throughout the day, probably 1,200, 1,300 people," Regan said.

Everyone knows Pittsburgh does St. Patrick's Day right.

"Oh, this is the largest parade, other than the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup parades that we see. We're expecting a couple hundred thousand people in Downtown Pittsburgh," said Pittsburgh Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa.

Costa, who is going by Guy O'Costa just for this weekend, wants people to leave early and prepare for road closures.

He's asking parade goers to get to their spots before 9 a.m. to avoid closures on Grant Street, the Boulevard of the Allies and Liberty Avenue.

"Beginning here in the Strip District, roads will close at 8 a.m. to allow the parade to start lining up," said Costa. "The parade kicks off at 10 a.m., and ends at 1 p.m. But we will start closing down the parade route at 9 o'clock."

For more information on road closures and detours, visit:

When it comes to outdoor drinking, Market Square is fair game, but only between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

"From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., it's going to be family-oriented. Organizations are going to be there with different entertainment, Irish music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But after 2 p.m., it becomes more of a social gathering for folks," Costa said.

Expect extra police, extra undercover officers, and extra-long waits outside popular bars.

"Also, we have additional fire inspectors out to make sure that the occupancies of the bars and establishments, they're following the occupancy allowances in the establishments," Costa said.

Plus, remember there's NCAA Tournament basketball games at PPG Paints Arena that kicks off just after 12 p.m., meaning you'll need the luck of the Irish to avoid traffic downtown this Saturday.

There will also be extra officers out, making sure you don't drink too much this weekend.

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