By: Jessica Guay and Royce Jones / KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Many in Pittsburg are getting ready to toast a green beer and celebrate the Irish good fortune just as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ MORE: Allegheny Health Network nurse accused of assaulting former patient at grocery store
The city is gearing up for the full return of St. Patrick’s parade, which takes place on Saturday morning. Barricades and fences can be seen on the downtown parade route on Thursday.
The parade has weathered wars and bad weather, like the blizzard of 1993. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, it was canceled and in 2021 it was pushed back to September.
On average, more than 350,000 people attended the parade, making it one of the largest parades in the country and creating a huge commitment for the police and EMS.
Allegheny County safety partners are getting ready for major festivities after the parade at clubs, bars and restaurants, particularly on the South Side, North Shore and downtown.
“Any disruptive or disorderly behavior simply will not be tolerated. There will be no tolerance for drunkenness, fighting, public drinking on the street or any other disruptive behavior and we will deal with that quickly by arresting or explain,” said Police Chief John Fisher of the Pittsburgh Police Department.
WATCH: KDKA’s Jessica Guay Report
People can expect to see makeshift light towers and an increased law enforcement presence in areas with a busy nightlife.
Pittsburgh police, Allegheny County police and Pennsylvania state police will monitor the crowd. Officers will wear plain clothes and uniforms. This includes officers from the city’s motorcycle, moped, bicycle and K-9 units.
“In the days to come, someone will drink, someone will drive, and someone will die. But if we can remember the definition of pleasure doesn’t have to include drinking or using drugs, it need not include driving while under the influence,” said Penn State Police Corporal Greg Johnson.
READ MORE: Man in critical condition after shooting plum
“We don’t want to see anyone get hurt, we don’t want to see anyone get into an accident and we certainly don’t want to see any deaths,” said Yasmeen Manyisha of PennDOT District 11.
Safety officials encourage party planners to stay behind the wheel and use designated drivers, Port Authority bus or car-sharing apps, and T vehicles.
“We are going to have full bus and rail services; We encourage you to drink responsibly and use our services. If you need assistance, we have call service boxes that you can tap into,” Shawn Hudzinski told the Port Authority.
Safety officials don’t want anyone to have bad luck while enjoying the famous Steel City holiday.
“Get off, enjoy yourself, do it safely, and remember the Pittsburgh police will be there and if you’re going to drive wrong, we’ll find you and we’ll arrest you,” Sgt. Pittsburgh Terry Donnelly.
All six DUI task forces in Allegheny County will be deployed along with other law enforcement agencies.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine. The parade will begin at the Greyhound Depot at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th Street and flow through downtown Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt said because we forecast snow, crowd size could be reduced.
Meanwhile, the organizers are ready to welcome people back from all over the world for this beloved event.
MORE NEWS: Police: Distracted driver caused 4 car crash in Butler
“It was a destination parade. People come to Pittsburgh from all over the country. Maybe they’re from Pittsburgh. Last year, during the September parade, I met a guy at the end of the parade, he came and we talked and he was from Dublin, Ireland. He and his family were at the parade and they said it was the best parade they had ever seen,” said the Mac McCafferty Foundation.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/03/11/pittsburgh-st-patricks-day-celebrations-safety/ Police increase patrols to return to St. Patrick’s day celebrations – CBS Pittsburgh