It's early June and time for one of my favorite Pittsburgh events: The annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (from June 5-14).
This free, 10-day festival takes place in Gateway Center and Point State Park. There's lots of great art, food and live musical entertainment daily. There's face painters and caricaturists, musicians and dancers. All are artists, and all in one place. So enjoy it while it's here. Walk over at lunch and browse the Artist Market. Hang out in the evening for a free concert. There are a zillion things going on during the Festival. A full schedule of events is available online. Oh and take your umbrella -- just in case!
Stroll through the open-air setting where there's more than 350 independent artists selling handmade art from 12-8 pm daily. You'll find lots of cool stuff. Buy a painting for that empty space on your wall. Get a handcrafted piece of jewelry for your favorite friend. Pick up an edgy sculpture to spruce up that home office. Shop early for Holiday gifts and avoid the mall crush. The Market is a shopper's paradise. There's musical instruments, leather, glass, ceramics, computer graphics, apparel and metal. You get one-of-a-kind items that you can't find anywhere else. I bought a metal bangle a few years ago and I have never seen anything like it in stores, and I'm still wearing that Carpe Diem bracelet! So take your wallet and some comfy shoes and walk the Market. You don't even need to bring your purse - you can buy one there!
How great is it to hear music Downtown instead of traffic and honking horns? There's always music in the air during the Arts Festival, with daily performances that appeal to every genre. From the pop rock Indie band All Dogs (June 5, 6:30-7:15 pm) to the Celtic, Americana folk vibe of Elephant Revival (June 6, 6:30-7:15 pm) to the melodic sounds of our own Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (June 8, 7:30 pm), there are free concerts daily. So grab some friends and enjoy a free outdoor performance. Summer air, free concert, and no fumbling in the dark to find a seat. What could be better?!
There's a lively selection of dance and theater. Be mesmerized by dance artist Alexandra Bodnarchuk. Catch Dance! From the Inside Out (June 6 and 13, 1-2 pm and 4-5 pm), a dance project featuring cross-genre duets. Catch Attack Theatre's Lost + Found: Memories Through Movement(June 6/7 2-3, 4-5 & 6-7 pm), which involves live interaction and highlights the theme and concepts of the Lost + Found visual art installation nearby. Experience the beauty of words at a poetry reading by Dave Newman and Tameka Cage Conley (6/13 5-5:30 pm). Open your mind to new ideas and attend 1Hood's Media Race, Gender, and the Power of Language in Hip-Hop discussion (June 14, 6:30 pm).
My mouth is watering just thinking about the food at the Arts Festival! There's lots to eat and drink. Try it all! Indulge in a lobster burger. Get a sizzling fajita or a spicy sausage and pepper sandwich. Go healthy and order the Edible Salad Bowl. Sweet tooth fans can get their fix with a funnel cake, fried Oreos, or peanut butter chocolate covered pretzels. Wash it down with fresh-squeezed lemonade. There's also a food court and local food trucks. You can always also dine at one of the many great restaurants in the Cultural District. So much food so little time!
Suzie McGrane is an avid Pirates fan, has a sweet tooth, is a world traveler and has a big disco ball in her cellar. She’s been known to dance around her office on Friday afternoons.