PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was bigger and more popular than ever this year with nearly 200 marching units and tens of thousands of spectators.
This year, the parade honored Dan Rooney, the former Steelers chairman and U.S. ambassador to Ireland who passed away last April.
“It’s really special. My whole family is very, very grateful,” Jim Rooney, Dan’s son, said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2018
Parade grand marshal Maggie Cloonan was celebrating her Irish heritage with her family.
“We continued our legacy of great Irish people in the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” she said.
Bishop David Zubik reminded Pittsburghers that the parade celebrates the legacy of St. Patrick, dating back to the 4th century.
“The main part of this feast is to not only remember what Patrick did, but how we need to be able to do good things for each other and bring each other closer to God as well,” he said.
Saturday was one occasion where the St. Patrick’s Day Parade actually fell on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s extra incentive for celebrations that will likely continue well into the evening.
“Sometimes we have almost like a one-week whole celebration. This week, we’ve got to jam it all in one day,” parade chairman Mac McCafferty said.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert had a reminder for revelers.
“We’re going to be out there in full force. We’re looking for impaired drivers. We want people to have a good time. That’s what it’s all about, but you got to be responsible for your actions,” he said.
Officials said there were no arrests made during the parade. A bomb squad was called to Liberty Avenue and Smithfield Street just before 11 a.m. for a suspicious bag, but it determined to be harmless.
At least four arrests were made later in the day — all for drunkenness.