For each of the past 60 years, Pittsburgh has crowned Miss Smiling Irish Eyes, a distinguished young woman who proudly represents her Irish heritage throughout all areas of her life. Alongside the parade Grand Marshal, being crowned Miss Smiling Irish Eyes is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Pittsburgh Irish Community. Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and her Court have a prominent position in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, and are featured in several local media events throughout the week leading up to the Parade. She and her Court are tasked with demonstrating how the cornerstones of Irish identity--faith, unity, and Christian charity--inform their lives and their future goals.
Over the past 5 decades, Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and her Court have included some of the region's most scholastically and socially outstanding women. Former Miss Smiling Irish Eyes have gone on to become television anchors, physicians, professors, and leaders in their communities.
For almost 20 years, Miss Smiling Irish Eyes has been invited to travel to Ireland the following summer to represent Pittsburgh in the Maiden of the Mournes International Festival in Warrenpoint, County Down, Ireland.