Thursday, February 24, 2011

Second-largest St. Patrick's Parade in the Country

One of the best things about St. Patrick’s Day in Pittsburgh is that it usually follows a cold and dark winter and marks the first glimmer of warmer weather and the arrival of Spring. Around the middle of March, the grass in the region starts to turn from brown to green again and so do the streets as roughly 200,000 spectators line the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Always held on the Saturday immediately prior to or on St. Patrick’s Day, the Pittsburgh parade is considered the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country. Over 23,000 participants travel the parade route along Grant Street and the Blvd. of the Allies to the review stand at Stanwix Street.

I help with the handling PR for the event, which is one of the highlights of my year. This year will be the second time in as many years that I have worked on the parade, and it seems to only get better with time.

We started a Facebook page last year, along with a Twitter feed. The Facebook page has about 10,100 followers, and the Twitter feed has over 500. These are helpful in keeping people informed leading up to the event, and it’s a great way to get the pre-parade buzz started. One of the things I like best about this event is its genuineness. For an event of this magnitude, sponsorships are extremely reasonable and nothing is contrived. The volunteers do it for their love of their Irish heritage, the City of Pittsburgh, and for the camaraderie of doing something with their old and new friends.

This year’s parade is Saturday, March 12th, rain or shine. Slainte!

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