By: Heather Wampler

As someone who is part Irish, I love St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, according to so many shirts and sayings, everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. What do I love about the day? Celebrating the Irish, remembering why St. Patrick was such a ray of hope for those who were oppressed so long ago and, of course, another holiday to spend with my family. There is nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn to reserve a space downtown for the parade. It’s exciting seeing the dancers and bands head through downtown and spending the day having a blast with my boys.

(Photo: KDKA)

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Liberty & 11th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
March 17th 2012 – 10:00 a.m.

The best part of the day is the parade. It is festive. Green. And there are so many things to see go by you. The parade will proceed from the intersection of Liberty and 11th Streets to Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies, where it will turn right. Proceed on the Boulevard of the Allies to the Reviewing Stand at Stanwix Street, and then disburse at Commonwealth Place. You’ll be able to see marching bands, floats, dancers and Miss Smiling Eyes. It’s a fun time, a reason to get all decked out deck out in all green, wear the goofy hats and celebrate the Irish Heritage.

However, what on earth is there to do after the parade? If you have a babysitter or are child-free you drink green beer and Irish whiskey of course. Maybe head down to Claddagh Irish Pub in the Southside Works.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Admission: Free

If you have kids and do not want to get a babysitter you head down to Fifth Avenue Place for some wholesome family fun. That’s what you do. Kids are able to enjoy an entire afternoon of activities and entertainment. Let the munchkins get some St. Patrick’s Day face painting, participate in game and so much more. The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum will lead kids and those who are still a kid at heart in making Leprechaun hats and Irish crafts, which makes amazing souvenirs for the holiday.

There will be a strolling violinist, Steven Vance, playing music for the enjoyment of all and you can “Putt-for-Prize” to win a shamrock necklace (while quantities last).

Market Square

Market & Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m daily

If you’re not up for Fifth Avenue Place you can go right to the beautiful Market Square. While there enjoy performances by parade participants as you eat delicious food from surrounding restaurants and have fun in Pittsburgh’s most beautiful and historic public space. The area will be completely family- focused from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is the perfect way to follow up the excitement of the parade. There will be no alcohol allowed outdoors until after 2 p.m.

Heather Wampler resides in Pittsburgh, Pa with her husband and twin boys. She slaves away over a laptop writing and blogging every day. To read more from her visit