PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s billed as one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country with close to 200,000 people expected.

On a normal St. Paddy’s Day, downtown gets tied up.

“We ask people to be patient,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, D-Pittsburgh, said. “I know there are going to be traffic issues, but it’s supposed to be a wonderful day, beautiful day.”

But it’s not just the parade. NCAA tournament basketball play is under way at CONSOL. It means even more people in town and more traffic.

And there’s more. Vice President Joe Biden is coming to the parade. His presence means a motorcade, with security and even more traffic to contend with. But the mayor says the city is ready to deal with it.

“Traffic will be an issue tomorrow,” Ravenstahl said. “You have to plan for that and leave a little bit early and know that you might have to sit in traffic – especially when you consider the precautions taken for the vice president.”

And while drinking will be permitted in Market Square from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., drunk driving will not be tolerated.

DUI patrols and sobriety check points will be in full operation Saturday.

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