St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Ray Feather.

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Who needs Christmas in July when there’s St. Patrick’s Day in September?

Pittsburgh’s Irish pride parade – one of the oldest and largest in the United States – will take place on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

It will follow its usual route through Downtown Pittsburgh, beginning at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 11th and Grant streets, and winding down Grant and the Boulevard of the Allies to the Stanwix Street reviewing stand.

Approximately one-fifth of the Pittsburgh region claims Irish heritage, making that green-and-gold color combination almost as popular as black-and-gold. While the weather – including a blizzard in 1993 – has never put a damper on the festivities, Covid did. The event was canceled in 2020 and postponed earlier this year because of the pandemic.

September 2021 is shaping up to be one lucky month, as the Pittsburgh Irish Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary Sept. 10-12 at The Lots at Sandcastle in West Homestead.

Green beer, anyone? Sláinte!

Chill with Vanilla Ice at Rivers Casino

Alright stop, collaborate and listen … Vanilla Ice is coming to Rivers Casino!

The rapper will rock a mic like a vandal when he headlines the I Love The 90’s tour, which lights up The Event Center stage on Nov. 27.

He’ll be joined by other iconic artists from the decade, including Coolio, Rob Base and C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams. Tickets start at $39 and are on sale now at the Casino gift shop or online.

“The 90’s were such a fun time, and the music was a huge part of that,” says Shannon Redmond, vice president of marketing at Rivers Casino. “Each member of I Love The 90’s will bring their own hits and energy to get the crowd going.”

In 1990 Vanilla Ice reached the top of the Billboard charts with his song “Ice Ice Baby.” Attendees can expect to hear other dope melodies such as “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “It Takes Two” and “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).”

Word to your mother.

Photo courtesy of ScareHouse.

ScareHouse celebrates 20 years of fears

ScareHouse, named one of the most horrifying haunted houses in the U.S., kicks off its 20th spine-tingling season on Sept. 18. The attraction will be open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 1 and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 6.

The first ScareHouse visitors screamed their way through its maze of terror in 1999, but a move from the longtime Etna site — and then the pandemic — silenced the screams for a while. Now located inside the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum, ScareHouse is going big on boos in 2021.

“This year, Halloween is back, and so is ScareHouse — bigger, scarier and more fun than ever — in a location that is going to allow us to raise the bar higher than ever and create a truly wild time for visitors,” says Scott Simmons, ScareHouse’s co-founder and creative director. “For the last year and a half, people have been bottling up a lot of fear and anxiety, and we’re going to give them a chance to get it all out — and then some.”

Tickets, including RIP admission offering no-reservation, front-of-the-line access, are available online. The Basement, ScareHouse’s ultra-intimate counterpart, will remain bolted shut this Halloween season, but Simmons promises something shocking is happening inside and will be unleashed in 2022.

Photo courtesy of East End Brewing.

Chow down and drink up at East End Chewing

During the pandemic, East End Brewing sold pizzas to meet the state’s mandatory food requirements. Now the pies are there to stay.

Sheryl Johnston runs the East End Chewing side of things. “We’re keeping the menu pretty simple, focusing on a rustic, thick-crust pizza that we offer in just a few configurations at a time,” she says. That includes a classic cheese pizza, a pepperoni pizza and a Pizza of the Week. Everything on the menu is available in vegetarian and vegan forms.

Redhawk Coffee nests at Trace Brewing

Trace Brewing, which opened in December, is finally living up to its promise to offer both beer and coffee.

You can now get your caffeine fix at the Bloomfield business daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bar service runs from noon until close. Café beverages, provided by Redhawk Coffee, include drip coffee, iced coffee, espresso, cappuccino, lattes, hot tea and more.

There’s also a small menu of breakfast pastries and public WiFi for folks who need a break from their home office.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.