With the forecast calling for temperatures in the 70s Saturday, Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade officials are expecting a big turn out.
"We're looking forward to some of the best weather we've ever had, so that will be sure to draw a large crowd in itself. We usually get around 100,000 and we expect more at this year's parade," said Parade spokesman Tim O'Brien.
Vice President Joe Biden will be in attendance, and the procession will feature more than 23,000 participants in 200 marching groups, 18 bands, law makers, nonprofits, police, fire and EMS units, and Irish-heritage groups.
The parade begins at 10:00 AM Saturday near the Greyhound bus station on Liberty Avenue downtown. It proceeds down Grant Street, turns right on Boulevard of the Allies and travels to the review stand near Stanwix Street.
Market Square will be designated "family friendly," which means alcohol-free except at private establishments for the duration of the parade.
O'Brien said the parade is a rite of spring. "You never see people in a bad mood at a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Pittsburgh," he said.
Event officials claim Pittsburgh's is the second-largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the United States, behind New York City.
A complete schedule of events can be found at PittsburghIrish.org.