PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and nearly 250,000 people could be coming to downtown Pittsburgh for the annual parade.

Now, the city is working to keep things clean while everyone is going green.

“The weather looks great, knock on wood. We’ve been able to have some very, very warm St. Patrick’s Days and we’ve also had some very cold and snowy ones, but this Saturday looks great,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.

With soon-to-be Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Mary Kate Gallagher and her attendants looking on, the mayor said it’s more than simply a wearing of the green. It’s about the city going green.

“We are doing a couple of things. First, we are going to have recycling bins in the Market District area and also along the parade route and in Market Square. This is a great opportunity for us to continue to go green,” Ravenstahl said.

Last year, the city recycled about 565 tons from the parade and with four new natural gas-burning refuse trucks, the city hopes to top 600 tons this year.

“We want to put on a family friendly event. We also want to have a family friendly event that the parade is putting on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Market Square, where we will have live entertainment while the parade is going on,” Parade Chairman Patrick O’Brien said.

This will continue the parade’s effort for reform.

“We decided that our parade was beginning to show too much of an undesirable kind of an atmosphere and we were losing our kids. If you looked around the parade route, you saw every year there were fewer and fewer kids there,” Grand Marshall Jim Green said.

Pittsburgh’s parade is the second-largest in the United States and the city wants the community to take pride in that fact.


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