(photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

(photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

March is Irish-American Month and what better way to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day with a parade in Pittsburgh? The parade route traverses through the city to highlight the Irish heritage. Families and children may use this time to learn about the culture, dances, songs, and historical background of the Irish people in the Pittsburgh region. There are free events that will make St.Patrick’s Day a special celebration to remember.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Downtown Pittsburgh
Liberty Ave. and 11th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Hours: March 16 – 10 a.m.

Come and wear your best green outfits and celebrate with thousands of others at the St.Patrick’s Day parade that traverses its way through the streets of Pittsburgh. There will be heaps of marching bands, floats, dance troupes, clubs and organizations, media and political dignataries and specialty performances for kids of all ages. Spectators will be entertained and will learn about the Irish heritage with intricate dance routines, musical selections, colorful costumes and genealogy inherent with the Irish culture. The celebration is more than a parade, but an educational and historical tour of Irish pride in the surrounding communities of Pittsburgh.

Related: Best Multicultural Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Pittsburgh

Shovlin Academy Of Irish Dance
1444 Hillsdale Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(412) 431-7837

Hours: March 12, Upper St. Clair High School; 10 a.m.

Children age five and over have the opportunity to engage in dance instruction to learn Irish step and solo dances with qualified teachers, who have carried on the tradition of excellence for many years. The dancers provide entertainment at festivals and events throughout the year in the Pittsburgh region. They will perform their marching and dance routines at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Pittsburgh. The dancers will be in presentation apparel, and this is an educational and historical learning experience for children who may want to join the dance school after watching the parade. The school is goal-orientated, which fosters the opportunity to develop on a competitive or exhibition level. Check back often for a complete schedule of updates and events.

Nationality Rooms
University of Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning
4200 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-6000

Families and kids may learn about the culture and heritage of the Irish by visiting the first floor of the Irish room or engage in a  tour,  especially designed for children to understand the basics of the room. Children can learn about the  symbols and designs of the architecture and how it relates to the religious influence in Ireland throughout the centuries. The walls are adorned with stained- glass features that highlight the educational and learning experience from legendary teachers. There is much to be learned from the Celtic symbols, inscriptions, images and ancestral history of Ireland. A visit to the gift center to purchase or view items may help children to appreciate the tradition and culture of Ireland.

Irish Fair in the Square
Market Square Merchants Association
24 Market Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 566-4190

Hours: March 17

For one day, everybody can be Irish and that can be accomplished by joining the crowd after the St.Patrick’s Day parade in Market Square for the annual Irish Fair in the Square. The Market Square Merchants Association is a group of business owners dedicated to arranging entertainment, food, drink and dance to emphasize the Irish heritage. There are street vendors, specialty acts, music and activities for the kids before and after the parade. Make sure to wear your finest green attire and enjoy the atmosphere in Market Square. Check back often for a full schedule of events to celebrate  St.Patrick’s Day and share the Irish tradition in a memorable party for kids of all ages.

St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun at Fifth Avenue Place
120 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 456-7800

Hours:  March 16 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are  looking for entertaiment, activities and fun after the St. Patrick’s Day parade, then look no furthur than Fifth Avenue Place, who will provide special events for the kids. They are hard at work to make this a special day to honor and learn about the Irish culture. A joyful Leprachaun will design the perfect face- painting to show your Irish spirit. Dance along with violinist, Steven Vance, to get kids in a festive mood. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will provide  St. Patrick’s Day souvenirs, and then step-dance over to a pot o’ gold area to win a necklace in the “Putt for a Prize” contest. The best part of the celebration is that the events are free and a great way to make St.Patrick’s Day memorable.

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Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.