Cold doesn’t stop parade goers
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Irish or not, thousands of Pittsburghers braved the cold Saturday dressed in green as part of the 61st annual St. Patrick’s day parade.
“There were a lot more people last year for sure, but for the weather it was still a decent turnout I think,” sports, arts and entertainment management sophomore Keely Sapienza said.
Each year, the Irish society for Education and Charity, Inc. and the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s day parade committee work to organize the parade.
The route kicked off at the intersection of Liberty Ave. and 11th St.. Participants proceeded to march down Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies. The parade concluded at Commonwealth Place.
As temperatures reached a high of 27 by noon, the city estimated a turnout of nearly 200,000 people to spectate this year. An estimated 23,000 people representing over 200 different organizations marched the route.
“It was very cold but I bundled up and danced to the music to keep warm,” sports, arts and entertainment management freshman Courtney List said.
Scout groups, the Pirate Parrot, veterans, Santa and members of law enforcement all made the near mile and a half trek through downtown.
“There were so many different people and organizations marching that I’ve never even heard of, it was really cool to see,” junior acting major Wesley Ehle said. “My favorite thing was definitely all the different dogs.”
Held in Market Square was the annual “Irish Fair in the Square.” A family friendly event in the morning featuring face painting, Irish dancers and food.
Following the parade, the fair was opened to those 21 and older as live bands performed and open containers were permitted.
“I was in Las Velas which got pretty crowded,” Sapienza said. “There weren’t too many people sticking around outside though.”
According to Sonya Toler, Pittsburgh public safety spokeswoman, the Market Square crowd was possibly the smallest in the fair’s history.
Open containers were not allowed along the parade route as Pittsburgh Police kept an eye on parade goers. According to Pittsburgh police, crowds behaved this year as no arrests or citations were made downtown during the celebration. According to a press release from the Department of safety, police made total of four arrests and gave 13 citations during last year’s parade.
Point Park public safety had no issue either as no arrests or citations happened on campus.
“I think everyone was just having a good time, I didn’t really see anybody acting out,” List said.