8 Festivals in Pittsburgh That Make Steel City an Exciting Place to Call Home

Updated on May 22nd, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Steel City bursts with vibrant culture, rich history, and a thriving community spirit. For those thinking about living in Pittsburgh, PA, the annual events that grace its calendar offer a glimpse into the dynamic and diverse experiences that will make you feel right at home.

Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment in Pittsburgh or purchase a home in the area on Redfin, Steel City offers a festival or event that caters to everyone’s interests. In this article, we explore 8 annual festivals and events that make Pittsburgh an exciting city to call home.

bridge in Pittsburgh, PA

1. Three Rivers Arts Festival

Every June, the Three Rivers Arts Festival enlivens downtown Pittsburgh, transforming the city into a vibrant hub of artistic expression. This highly anticipated event celebrates the creativity of both local and national artists, captivating visitors with a diverse range of visual arts, live music performances, captivating dance shows, and interactive installations. 

Stroll through the festival grounds and admire stunning artworks that adorn the streets, parks, and galleries. Listen to talented musicians and experience the energy of live performances that fill the air. Engage with interactive installations that spark your imagination and invite participation. This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the arts, support talented artists, and explore the vibrant cultural scene of Pittsburgh.

2. Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Transport yourself back in time to the golden era of automobiles at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. This captivating two-week-long event, held in July, revives the glory days of classic cars. Experience the thrill of vintage car races, where these magnificent machines showcase their power and elegance on the track. Marvel at the meticulously restored vehicles on display during car shows, where automotive enthusiasts gather to admire the craftsmanship and design of these automotive legends. 

If this sounds interesting, you definitely can’t miss the grand parade of classic vehicles, a spectacle that delights onlookers as the streets come alive with the rumble and charm of bygone days. Beyond the excitement, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix also serves a noble cause, as it supports local charities. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply appreciate automotive history, this event is a must-attend, allowing you to immerse yourself in the allure and nostalgia of classic automobiles.

Vintage Grand Prix is a popular festival in Pittsburgh

3. Pittsburgh Irish Festival

Experience the vibrant spirit of Ireland at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, a lively celebration held annually in September. Learn about the rich and storied traditions of Irish culture through captivating performances of traditional music and dance. Let the infectious rhythms of bodhráns and fiddles sweep you off your feet, indulge in authentic Irish cuisine, and explore the festival grounds to discover a treasure trove of Irish crafts and artwork. The Pittsburgh Irish Festival is a cherished event that brings together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the enduring spirit of Ireland and its profound cultural contributions.

4. Pittsburgh Pride

Every June, Pittsburgh Pride sets the city ablaze with a week-long celebration of love, diversity, and acceptance. This joyous event honors and uplifts the LGBTQ+ community, inviting everyone to join in the festivities. The highlight of the celebration is the colorful Pride Parade, where a vibrant procession winds through the streets, filling the air with music, laughter, and unity. Live performances by talented artists captivate audiences, while parties and social events create spaces for connection and celebration. 

Educational events and workshops are available to attend to help promote understanding and foster dialogue, reinforcing Pittsburgh’s commitment to equality and acceptance. Pittsburgh Pride showcases the city’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community, its allies, and their unwavering spirit. It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of love, diversity, and inclusion, making it a cherished and highly anticipated event on Pittsburgh’s annual calendar.

People celebrating Pride

5. Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival

Surround yourself with smooth melodies and soulful rhythms of the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, a must-attend event for jazz enthusiasts. Held in September, this esteemed festival brings together world-renowned musicians and emerging artists who showcase their extraordinary talent and improvisational skills. 

Held at the Highmark Stadium and the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, this event captivates audiences and transports them to a realm of musical brilliance. From mesmerizing saxophone solos to electrifying piano performances, the festival offers a diverse range of jazz styles and interpretations. Whether you’re a dedicated jazz aficionado or simply appreciate the power of music, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival promises an unforgettable experience that celebrates the beauty and artistry of this timeless genre.

6. Pittsburgh Marathon

The Pittsburgh Marathon, held in May, is a celebration of determination, athleticism, and community spirit. This iconic event attracts thousands of runners from around the world, all eager to test their endurance and conquer the challenging course. Participants can choose from the full marathon, half-marathon, or relay races, each offering a unique and exhilarating experience. 

As runners pound the pavement and cross Pittsburgh’s scenic streets and bridges, they are met with enthusiastic cheers and support from the vibrant local community. Spectators line the route, creating an electric atmosphere that propels participants forward. The Pittsburgh Marathon is not only a physical challenge but also a testament to the city’s resilience and the unwavering spirit of its residents. It’s a remarkable event that showcases Pittsburgh’s athletic prowess and the unbreakable bond between runners and the community.

Marathon runners

7. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl is a beloved event that ignites the passion of art enthusiasts throughout the city’s Cultural District. Held quarterly, this free extravaganza invites visitors to immerse themselves in a dynamic world of creativity and cultural expression. 

Wander through galleries, theaters, and other cultural venues that open their doors to showcase a captivating array of visual arts, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media installations. Witness mesmerizing performances, including live music, dance, and theater, that captivate audiences with their talent and creativity. Engage in interactive experiences that invite participation and ignite your own artistic spirit. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl is a vibrant celebration of the arts, offering a platform for both established and emerging artists to showcase their work and allowing visitors to experience the transformative power of creativity firsthand.

8. Light Up Night

As the holiday season approaches, downtown Pittsburgh comes alive with the enchanting celebration known as Light Up Night. This beloved event, held in November, turns the city into a winter wonderland, captivating residents and visitors alike. The night sky illuminates with dazzling tree lightings, casting a warm glow over the streets. The air is filled with live music, spreading festive melodies throughout the city. Spectacular fireworks light up the night, painting the sky with vibrant colors. Holiday-themed activities abound, from visits with Santa Claus to ice skating rinks and artisan markets. Light Up Night creates a magical atmosphere that brings joy and cheer to the entire community, kickstarting the holiday season in Pittsburgh with a sense of wonder and delight.

Pittsburgh’s festivals weave a rich tapestry of culture, entertainment, and community engagement. From lively events to captivating performances, the city offers a little something special for everyone, creating a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates its unique character.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Julia Weaver

Julia is a part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate and design trends. Her dream home be a charming beachside home with lots of light.

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