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Summer Events Downtown Brighten the City

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Dozens of exciting events -- both free and paid -- in downtown Pittsburgh this summer include Fourth at the Fort, Picklesburgh, Yoga in the Square, and more.

200K+

attendees of Picklesburgh 2023

9:35 p.m.

fireworks begin at City of Pittsburgh’s Independence Day Celebration

6-9

miles covered in tours by Bike the Burgh

$10

child tickets offered by Pittsburgh CLO

Whether you’re a foodie, history nerd, fitness fanatic, or all of the above, a wide range of unforgettable events are on the schedule in downtown Pittsburgh this summer.

A Show-Stopping Fourth of July

Start July with a bang with the free Fourth of July community celebration. Early in the day, visit Fourth at the Fort hosted by the Fort Pitt Museum at the Fort Pitt Block House yard, thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Learn about the American Revolution through immersive 18th-century military music, living history demonstrations, and a flag-raising ceremony with the firing of the museum’s replica British six-pounder cannon. Following the afternoon demonstrations is the City of Pittsburgh’s Independence Day Celebration at Point State Park, which includes local food trucks, live music and fireworks.

Furries, Festivals, and Food

The same week, one of the world’s largest furry conventions returns to Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. On July 6, Anthrocon hosts a family-friendly Fursuit Parade and Block Party in front of the convention center, a great opportunity to appreciate clever costumes, delicious food trucks and the summer weather.

For more free outdoor activities, the 9th annual Picklesburgh festival takes place on Boulevard of the Allies from July 18 through July 21.The event celebrates all things pickled with food vendors, a pickle juice drinking contest, and a kids’ play area. A must-visit Pittsburgh staple, Picklesburgh has been voted Best Specialty Food Festival in America by USA Today three times in a row and broke its attendance record last year with over 200,000 visitors. From July 14 through July 20, 17 downtown restaurants are participating in Taste of Picklesburgh by offering a variety of pickle themed food and drink.

In August, foodies have another delectable event to look forward to. This season's Pittsburgh Restaurant Week runs from August 12 through August 18, with early-access menus from August 9 through August 11. Outstanding restaurants around the city offer meals at a discounted price for patrons to explore cuisines and discover their new go-to dinner spot. Previous downtown spots included Social House 7, Bill’s Bar & Burger, Bae Bae’s Kitchen, McCormick & Schmick’s, Café Momentum, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Sullivan’s Steakhouse and more.

Community Fitness and Culture

Have an unpredictable schedule? Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is bringing a variety of free, recurring events throughout the summer. Every Tuesday and Sunday features Yoga in the Square, outdoor yoga classes in Market Square taught by local instructors. Every Thursday, the area is a farmers market with full-time and part-time vendors. Evening salsa dance classes are taught in Mellon Square in collaboration with CrossBody Dance + Movement.

To combine staying active with exploring Pittsburgh culture, a tour can reveal new sides of the city. Bike the Burgh offers three-hour bike tours providing a robust look at Pittsburgh’s history and stops at the most iconic landmarks downtown, starting and ending at Bike the Burgh’s offices. Tickets include a guided tour and a bike and helmet.

Walk the Burgh offers tours daily starting at the Convention Center and ending in Market Square, giving participants a full view of downtown’s offerings. Among the tours offered includes a “Whiskey Rebellion & Prohibition Tour,” which includes two cocktails and facts about how whiskey fueled the region’s social movements.

If you have a skateboard, roller skates, or are looking for new scenery for your morning run, OpenStreetsPGH is closing roads throughout downtown on June 29 to make way for pedestrians to navigate the trail how they wish. Adding to the fun, Market Square will feature a silent disco, freebies and Zumba, making the event perfect for all ages.

Catchy Performances

For art lovers, Pittsburgh CLO’s annual summer series returns with shows fit for the whole family, including The Color Purple, The Music Man, Young Frankenstein and Seussical. Several resources make these shows accessible, including $10 child tickets for every adult ticket purchased and show shuttles for those commuting from suburban areas. If you’re taking a pre-show stroll, stop by Agnes R. Katz Plaza for JazzLive, a music series every Tuesday featuring local jazz musicians. 

Fans of museums and public spaces can enjoy Pittsburgh Cultural Trusts free gallery crawl on July 26. Spread across 14 blocks downtown, galleries, stages, storefronts and iconic public spaces are all open and available to view.

Whether you’re looking to feed your curiosity and try something new or spend your summer revisiting warm-weather favorites, downtown offers plenty of opportunities to find something to love.

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