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Pittsburgh Bars Prepared For Subdued St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

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It is expected to be a busy weekend in Pittsburgh. KDKA's Bryant Reed has more on how bars are preparing to celebrate safely.

Video Transcript

- It's expected to be a busy weekend here in Pittsburgh.

- Yeah, there won't be a st. Patrick's Day parade, but police expect people to still hit the streets and go to bars. Bryant Reed tells us the lengths one owner's going through to make sure he doesn't exceed occupancy limits. Bryant?

BRYANT REED: The streets are normally packed for St. Patrick's Day, and the Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub is normally a hotspot for celebrations. But this year, their tables are socially distanced and people have specific times to come in if they want a St. Patty's Day pick-me-up.

DAVID REGAN: Instead of 1,200 to 1,400 people throughout the day, we're going to have 200. But we'll make the best of it.

BRYANT REED: David Regan is the owner of the Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub, notoriously known for its St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Typically, it's standing room only, but there's no lines or parades this year because of Covid-19 restrictions. So he's going a different route.

DAVID REGAN: Normally, it's just come and try and get in line at the door. This year we sold tickets to eight different sessions.

BRYANT REED: Pittsburgh Police and Fire officials say they're cracking down on drunk driving and plan to do occupancy checks on establishments to make sure they meet COVID regulations. This is just Regan's way of keeping the St. Patty's Day madness at bay. His coveted tickets sold out within minutes.

DAVID REGAN: So we're only allowed to have 70 people. They're here for three hours, they're going to stay those three hours. First session is 10:30 till 2:00, then we have an hour and a half to clean and sanitize everything.

BRYANT REED: In the meantime, PennDOT is promoting on-the-road safety and how to have a fun time without alcohol involved. They say one cup of ice, a half gallon of Hawaiian Punch, and a splash of soda is all you need to celebrate this Irish holiday. But if you do hit the roads--

- Feel free to designate a safe and sober driver. Someone you can rely on, someone who can help you get from point A to point B.

BRYANT REED: St. Patrick's Day isn't what it usually is, but that's OK. Regan is just glad there's something to celebrate.

DAVID REGAN: You just have to take advantage of what you can get.

BRYANT REED: And something to take with you into the weekend. PennDOT says if you do happen to go out, whether it's by car or you go for a walk, make sure to take a buddy with you. It'll ward off any strangers and make sure to keep you safe.

We're live downtown tonight, I'm Bryant Reed, KDKA News.