The Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, beginning at 10 a.m., rain, snow, or shine. The Parade Committee works diligently with the City of Pittsburgh Public Works and City of Pittsburgh Police to execute a safe and enjoyable event. Below you will find pertinent information pertaining to the parade route and rules.
Parade formation begins at the Greyhound Bus Station at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street. Staging takes place from the bus station and away from Downtown to 26th Street. The parade proceeds from the intersection of Liberty and 11th Streets to Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies, where it turns right. The parade proceeds on the Boulevard of the Allies to the Reviewing Stand at Stanwix Street, then disburses at Commonwealth Place.
The parade route is marked in green. The staging area is marked in red.
The theme of the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a celebration of the region’s Irish heritage honoring the holiday of Ireland’s patron – Saint Patrick. This primary theme is provided to all participants as guidance on the Parade Committee’s expectation that all of their activities and communications will respectfully support and not detract from this over-arching theme in the spirit as intended. All participant messaging and themes that are tied to participation in this event must be subservient to the singular theme of celebrating the region’s Irish heritage.
• The purpose of the parade is to unite the community in a positive fashion under its one theme, on the inclusive premise that everyone can be “Irish for a day.”
• Because the Pittsburgh Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a platform solely for the celebration of the region’s Irish heritage, it is not a platform for participants to use for public protest, political speech, social commentary, labor-management relations, government or legislative lobbying, special interest advocacy, or any issue or message theme unrelated to the region’s celebration of its Irish heritage. In laymen’s terms, in order to achieve a sense of common unity and fellowship, the parade maintains a “leave your issues at the curb” policy for all participants in the parade.
• The Pittsburgh Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee operates as part of the Irish Society for Education and Charity, Inc., a private, 501 ( C ) 3 not-for-profit organization that accepts no public funding. All parade participants are considered to be invited guests of the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Any violation of Parade Rules as determined by the Parade Chairman and the Parade Committee may result in the suspension of invitations to participate in future parades.
• The Pittsburgh Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee does not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability, and does not deny entry based on any of these criteria.
• Preference is given to entries that have participated in the parade in the past, having demonstrated respect for all rules of conduct; Irish groups; individuals and organizations that exist to celebrate the region’s Irish heritage; and selected individuals, groups and businesses from the community that demonstrate pride in the region’s Irish heritage or provide certain entertainment value.
• The Parade Committee reserves the right to deny participation to any individual or organization that does not meet its criteria for participation as set forth by these rules and includes meeting all requisite deadlines, and parade capacity limits.
• Because the Parade does not accept public funding, participants, sponsors and donors should not provide payment from public funding sources.
• To promote the safety of our participants and spectators, the throwing of any items by marchers or from any vehicle in the parade route is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, beads, candy and “silly string.” Only curbside distribution is permitted.
• Check-in time is as follows:
• Vehicles 8:30 a.m.
• Marchers 9 a.m.
• The Parade will start promptly at 10 a.m.
• Parade entries should limit the number of vehicles in their groups to a maximum of two (2) per group, unless special permission is received from the Parade Committee.
• Alcoholic beverages are not permitted among participants at any time, from the staging area, along the parade route, and/or in any vehicle or float. More specifically, the Parade Committee emphasizes that alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the staging area, on any person or in any participating vehicle during the Parade. This includes marching, driving, as a passenger in a vehicle or entertaining. In all facets of the Parade alcohol is excluded . Parade Marshals have the authority to exclude/remove you or your organization from the parade without warning if they determine that you or your group violates these Rules of the Parade. This could also result in you or your organization/group being excluded from next year’s Parade and future Parades.
• All groups must march in an orderly and continuous manner. No group is permitted to stop the parade to perform.
• No parade entry is permitted to change the order in which it was assigned, or to have non-authorized marchers or groups that exceed approved numbers stated on the parade application.
• ALL automobiles are to have two (2) marchers, one on each side, larger vehicles, including floats must have at least four (4) marchers.
• All banners and signs must be consistent with the theme of the parade, and be in keeping with all parade rules and must meet with Parade Chief Marshal’s approval on Parade Day.
• Elected officials and political candidates participating in the Parade are not permitted to carry signs, banners, clothing or other material which advertises or promotes their current campaign for office. No member of an entry shall display any type of sign promoting a political candidate running for public office. No candidate can be identified in sign, banner, badge or clothing as a candidate for office.
• All participants in the Parade are not permitted to carry signs, banners, clothing or other material which serve as part of a public protest , or promote political speech, social commentary, labor-management relations, government or legislative lobbying, special interest advocacy, or any issue or message theme unrelated to the region’s celebration of its Irish heritage. All signs, banners, clothing and other materials for display by parade entries must meet the standards and expectations of the Parade Committee and its rules set forth.
• For vehicles, large and small, in the parade, excessive use of air horns and sirens is discouraged out of interest for the welfare of spectators, parade participants and many canine and other animals with sensitive hearing.
• The Pittsburgh Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a family event, intended to appeal to the entire community, from young children to the region’s senior citizens and everyone in between. With this in mind, the Parade Committee does not permit:
• Adult themes, displays and/or behaviors by parade participants.
• Violence or disrespect to fellow participants and spectators.
• Obscene language, gestures, behaviors, signs, banners or apparel.
• Acts of civil disobedience and/or vandalism.
• Possession of any type of weapon (with the exceptions of law enforcement, first responders and military/historic re-enactor participants).
• Possession of any type of illegal drug or substance.
The Rules of the Parade Committee are meant to ensure a safe, happy, orderly and family-friendly parade. We must have everyone’s cooperation. Parade Marshals and officers from the City of Pittsburgh Police Department will be on hand to enforce all Parade Rules and city laws. WE MUST EMPHASIZE, alcohol is not permitted in the staging area, on any person or in any participating vehicle, along the parade route. Violation of these rules could result in your group being asked to leave the parade and/or exclusion from next year’s parade.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE:
• The Parade Committee is not responsible for negligence or damage caused by you/your organization.
• Please remember, do not block exits or entrances for parking lots or buildings. Do not block fire hydrants or handicapped-accessible parking spots.
• City of Pittsburgh Police officers and Parade Marshals will be available to assist you.