PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police and first responders in Pittsburgh were prepared for a busy Saturday night as people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.
Security restrictions were in place and the police were in full swing. Her main focus was to make sure the bars weren’t crowded.
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It’s another celebration slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s like day and night, two years ago there was standing room, people were dancing, soaking it up, and now everyone is sitting quietly and respectfully,” said Heather Rattner, her husband’s William Penn Tavern.
Bars like William Penn Tavern in Shadyside and Fatheads Sallon on the South Side are usually packed with people wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day fun, but the crowd was limited and masking and social distancing were encouraged .
That didn’t stop people from enjoying the night.
“This is our favorite bar and we wanted to stop by and have something to eat and drink,” said Hannah Clausi, a customer at William Penn Tavern.
“I just wanted to hang out with the girls for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Lena Garrett, a customer at William Penn Tavern.
“I’ve decided to come out and have a good time with my friends,” said Matthew Fediaczko, a customer at Fatheads Saloon.
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The Department of Public Safety in Pittsburgh urged people to stay safe. There were plenty of cops and a command post on Carson Street.
“We have 8 horses on duty, we have numerous motorcycle and bicycle officers, and many on foot,” said Wendell Hissrich, director of public safety for Pittsburgh.
Bars and restaurants are still 50 percent full. Fire inspectors and officials carried out occupancy checks to ensure that no bars crossed the border.
“We don’t want to take a step forward and two steps back with the pandemic. We certainly don’t want the cases to show up in town or in Allegheny County in a week or two, ”Hissrich said.
Party goers felt happy and made the most of the night.
“There’s always a little part of me that misses the crowd and everything, but I feel a lot safer,” said Caroline Heckman, a customer at William Penn Tavern.
“People are just trying to do the best they can, but they are happy to be together, I can say,” said Rattner.
Hissrich said if a bar’s capacity became a health and fire issue, authorities would close the place after a warning and take action against the owner.
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Usual enforcement measures were also in place, including laws on open containers, underage alcohol use, public poisoning, and alcohol use and driving.