Picklesburgh – Pittsburgh's specialty food festival dedicated to all things 'dill-licious' – has become a local institution since its inaugural event in 2015, and it's contributing to an increasing vibrancy in downtown Pittsburgh.
Best Speciality Food Festival (2023 USA Today's Reader's Choice)
The area averaged 95,000 visitors per day in July, representing 81% of pre-pandemic levels. The 2022 event hosted more than 90,000 pickle-loving patrons, reaching the maximum capacity on the 10th St. Bypass.
Therefore, this year, Picklesburgh expanded its footprint to include PPG Plaza and the three city blocks surrounding the plaza, extending from Stanwix to Smithfield Streets. This expansion also led to a significant increase in attendance numbers, with over 200,000 people coming downtown to partake in the festivities.
Picklesburgh is more than just a local attraction; it draws visitors from across the Pittsburgh region and beyond the state. Over 1.7 million visitors traveled to downtown Pittsburgh during the month of July, contributing to a 97% recovery rate compared to the same period in 2019.
- The entire downtown community pitched in to drive interest in the event and create excitement. In the week leading up to Picklesburgh, 17 downtown restaurants offered ‘A Taste of Picklesburgh’ featuring pickle-themed food and beverages ahead of Picklesburgh’s opening day.
- The Pickles and Giggles Comedy Show - held the evening before the Picklesburgh festivities began – was hosted by YaJagoff’s John Chamberlin and Rachael Rennebeck and featured two of Pittsburgh’s funniest comics: Collin Chamberlin and Ray Zawodni.
- One of the themes of 2023’s Picklesburgh celebration was ‘X-Mas in July,’ which perfectly complemented the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s exclusive, early-access preview to a variety of it upcoming holiday and non- holiday shows, including The Nutcracker, A Christmas Story and The Science of Santa with Doktor Kaboom.
- “Downtown is built for people, and more and more of them are back downtown, enjoying the restaurants, retail, art and sporting events, with Picklesburgh growing into a marquee event. Events and visitors continue to lead the recovery efforts and show that downtown remains a thriving summer destination with total visitation approaching pre-pandemic levels,” said Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup. “These numbers not only validate the collective efforts of so many, but also signal a truly exciting trajectory for the Golden Triangle as a social, cultural and economic magnet for our region.”