Cool Things to Do over Labor Day

Labor Day is right around the corner. This holiday was created to celebrate the American labor movement and the contributions of hardworking people. Pittsburgh's labor roots run deep. The American Federation of Labor was founded here in 1881. Our hardscrabble work ethic is as much a part of Pittsburgh as our three rivers.

But Pittsburgh also loves to play, and this Labor Day there are lots of free concerts, festivals and fun things to do. So take a respite from work and bring your family and friends to The Burgh' for a little R&R. Bring a chair to sit under the stars for a free outdoor concert. Pack a blanket to stretch out on in one of our parks Come on over. No labor involved!

September 2-8 

  • USS LST 325 (Landing Ship, Tank) Located at Riverfront Park on the North Shore. These ships were designed in 1942 for battle, and over 1000 were built for World War II. They are open for tours.

September 3-7 

  • Kickoff and Rib Festival - Heinz Field, Pittsburgh North Shore. Free concerts daily by local and national recording artists, rib vendors, games and rides for the kids, and more. Free admission.

Rib Festival - Photo from Website

September 4 

  • Opek Plays Strayhorn, part of Summer Fridays - Located at Frick Art & Historical Center on the lawn, this Jazz ensemble offers a look at the music of Billy Strayhorn, the famous Pittsburgh composer whose 100th anniversary is in 2015.
  • Are you a football fan? Catch the game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Youngstown State Young Penguins at Heinz Field.
  • Come out and Party in the Tropics, hosted by Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens  from 7-11pm. This sweltering party is for adults only (21+). Enjoy sweet and savory morsels, unique cocktails, and live DJ in the Tropical Forest Conservatory. Free with Conservatory admission.

September 5

  • South Side Outside Paddle & Music Festival located at the South Side Riverfront Park. Kayak and stand-up paddle board race from the Birmingham to the Clemente Bridges and back. Other races include 5K family and beginner-friendly stand up paddle board and doggie paddle. There's also an all-day music festival with local food vendors, giveaways, and family friendly outdoor activities.
Festival of Combustion
  • Festival of Combustion - Held in the Carrie Blast Furnaces from 12 pm-5 pm. This is a family-friendly event that highlights all HOT art making processes with booths dedicated to glass flame working, ceramics, molten lava, bronze casting and cast iron. Design your own glass mosaic, enjoy live music, local food, HOT art and COLD Ice Cream! Kids under 18 get in free with accompanying adult!
  • Pittsburgh Running Tours is hosting the North Shore 5K, which will be run at a causal pace to accommodate all skill levels. This is flat tour that will feature views of downtown, the bridges, and the stadiums with plenty of photo stops.

  • Have you watched the Pittsburgh Riverhounds play yet? Come see the professional soccer team take on Charleston Battery at Highmark Stadium.
  • Enjoy the Flavor of Pittsburgh with the popular Food Culture Tour, offered in various locations. Taste your way through the foods that celebrity chefs, magazine writers and bloggers adore. Tour features samplings at local eateries and behind-the-scenes stories! Enough food for a mea - come savor the Flavor of Pittsburgh! (3 hours).
  • Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh! Take The Official Pittsburgh Film Office Tour, and celebrate the "Hollywood of the East", where movies and film crews abound! This interactive tour will take you through city backdrops of movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Flashdance, Next Three Days, Inspector Gadget, Abduction, Jack Reacher and dozens more! Treats included. (2.5 hours)
  • The Pittsburgh Bike Hash is a hare-and-hound style hash featuring several stops for adult beverages, checkpoints, and a false trail.

September 5-7  

  • Shakespeare in the Parks Who doesn't love great theater in a park setting? Pack a basket and a blanket and see King Lear in Frick Park!
  • The Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park featuring affordable family fun. Come see the combat jousting, continuous entertainment and master artisans.

September 6

  • One of the most exciting events on this list is the 16th Annual Allegheny County Music Festival, held at the Hartwood Acres Amphitheater and featuring a live concert from Rusted Root.
  • This summer you can once again relax on the lawn at Highland Park to the sounds of jazz performed by Pittsburgh's finest musicians. Residents of the tri-state area look forward to this showcase of the area's extraordinary talent of jazz at the ever-popular Reservoir of Jazz series.Be sure to check out the FREE Etta Cox Labor Day concert as part of the Reservoir of Jazz Series. This concert is located in Highland Park on Highland Avenue & Reservoir Drive from 5–7 pm.  
Labor Day Parade

September 7 (Labor Day) - 

  • Who doesn't love a good parade? The Allegheny County Labor Day Parade is held in downtown Pittsburgh and begins at 10 am at Centre Avenue and Grant Street. It will proceed along Grant to the United Steelworkers of America building on the Boulevard of Allies. Organizers expect 60,000 people to participate.
  • Greg Iskat is playing in Market Square from 12pm - 1pm. Relax and enjoy live acoustic entertainment as part of Mellow Mondays Summer Concert Series.

Whatever you end up doing to celebrate Labor Day in Pittsburgh, share your experiences with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LovePGH!