With COVID-19 gone, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kick into high gear | Entertainment
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade that will wind through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday will feature all the elements revelers have come to know and love – step dancers, stick twirlers, bagpipes, people dressed as leprechauns and green as far as the eye can see.
This year, however, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is likely to have a cheer of extra magnitude, as it’s the first in three years that actually takes place around St. Patrick’s Day.
The 2020 parade was canceled as COVID-19 was initially spreading around the world and the first lockdowns were put in place. Vaccines began rolling in around St. Patrick’s Day last year, but organizers pushed the parade back to September, making it a “halfway St. Patrick’s Day” parade. With coronavirus numbers dwindling and normality seeming within reach, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year will take place on its traditional date, which has been the Saturday before the holidays.
And it will happen whatever the weather – marching bands braved the streets even when a fearsome blizzard hit the area in 1993 – and is set to start at 10am. the closet, as flurries are forecast, with high temperatures not expected to come out of the 30s on Saturday. The parade will begin at the Greyhound Bus Terminal at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street, and continue to Grant Street and then Allied Boulevard. A reception stand in Stanwix Street will mark the end of the parade.
Peter Shovlin, a 90-year-old Pittsburgh resident born in Liskerraghan, Ireland, is this year’s parade grand marshal. Shovlin is a founding member of the Irish Center of Pittsburgh and has long been dedicated to the preservation of Irish music and culture. He explained, “When you support the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, you’re really supporting St. Patrick’s Day. If he were alive today and given a cell phone and a computer, can you imagine what he would do when you see how much he has accomplished with just a little cloverleaf?
The parade is the culmination of celebrations for Ireland’s patron saint in this region. There will, however, be many other events that will occur. Of course, local watering holes will pour green beer to patrons adorned with clover bead necklaces, but other festivities are planned that don’t necessarily involve raising a glass or two or three.
The Carnegie Science Center will celebrate Irish history, tradition and language on Saturday. Irish writer and actor Manchan Magan will headline the 70-minute production “Aran & Im” at noon and 3 p.m. . Registration is not required to attend “Aran & Im”, but seats and bread are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Magan also appears in the documentary “Ireland,” which is showing at the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center through the end of July. Narrated by Liam Neeson, it delves into the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the Emerald Isle and is in 3D.
For those who like their St. Patrick’s Day revelry to have a bit darker cast, the Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park in Uniontown is offering two holiday-themed attractions tonight and Saturday. The first is the interactive murder mystery “Goldfellas,” where visitors will help the O’Weary gang uncover a murderer, and the other, “Nathair: The Summoning,” promises “a gruesome ritual.” For more information, visit online at www.hauntedhillsestate.com.
Next Thursday, on St. Patrick’s Day itself, “The Rhythm of the Dance” will be at the Palace Theater in Greensburg. It celebrates the dance, music, song and culture of Ireland from pre-Celtic times to the present day. “The Rhythm of the Dance” has been rated one of the top three Irish dance performances in the world.