As steamy summer days transform into the cooler days of fall, Pittsburgh’s streets remain sizzling hot with events and festivals that attract thousands from the city, from the suburbs and even long-distance travelers from nearby states. Here are just four of the many events that require attention. They also require very active participation.
Mount Those Bikes
BikeFest 2010 (August 6-15) is Pittsburgh’s largest cycling celebration. It is not one continuous organized event. Instead, BikeFest is a framework for volunteers and organizations to organize bicycle-themed events for one or more days within the 10-day period. It is for anyone who likes to ride every day, ride only on weekends, or just always wanted to try.
The BikeFest Kickoff Party on August 6 gets things rolling. It is a fundraiser for BikePGH at the Pittsburgh Opera at 2425 Liberty Avenue.
Get up to speed at the BikeFest website.
The fourth annual Rachel’s Sustainable Feast comes to Pittsburgh on Sunday, August 29. This is a new date for the festival since the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing a home game on September 12.
The best chefs of Pittsburgh, who are committed to buying local produce, will attend this block party along with the folks from the local farmers’ markets and from many environmental, conservation and fair-trade organizations. This year, they will be squeezed into one big “bridge” party held at the 9th Street Rachel Carson Bridge.
Why the bridge? Well, the event has become so popular that it no longer can be held at The Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale. Who was Rachel Carson? During her life, Carson promoted environmental ethics and health.
Kiss Me, I’m Irish/Italian
Right around the corner, in September, a couple of heritage festivals will feature the cultures of Pittsburgh’s Irish and Italians.
Traditional and contemporary Irish entertainment will be the centerpiece of the 20th annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival, September 10-12, at Riverplex at Sandcastle near the Waterfront in West Homestead/Pittsburgh. The best Irish food, music and dancing will be part of the fun all weekend. Gaelic sports also are on the schedule and the competition is open to everyone.
Filled with the captivating aromas emanating from its grocery shops and restaurants, the streets of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy are enticing on any day of the year. But, for one weekend, September 24-26, these same streets become even more alive with all things Italian for the Bloomfield Little Italy Days.
Enjoy the classic music, a bocce tournament, northern and southern Italian dishes (and some Americanized versions, too) along with all the cannoli, sfogliatelle and spumoni that a belly can hold.
The centerpiece of the festival is the Sunday procession of a life-size statue of Madonna della Civita and Jesus.