Opening Day at PNC Park is fast approaching (April 13 - the Pirates vs. the Detroit Tigers at 1:35pm). And even though I'm not going to the Opener this year, I plan to go to lots of games. I can't wait to get back inside PNC Park, my "summer home!" You don't have to know all the rules or even the players to enjoy the game. Just sit in the ballpark and enjoying that spectacular view. Check out my favorite things to do on game day. Let's Go Bucs!!
Buy Peanuts.Presto George in the Strip District has the best shelled peanuts. They're so fresh you'll be eating them as you walk. You can also buy them from the many vendors along Fort Duquesne Boulevard. My brothers will not go to a Pirates game without a bag of shelled peanuts!
Stop at Pizza Milano for dinner before the game. Its on 6th Street, right on the way to the park. They usually have a stand set up outside the restaurant where you can grab a slice on the go, or sit down inside to order a whole pie. The pieces are gigantic and a real bargain at $2. You can get a slice of pizza and a bottle of water for $4.50. Way cheaper than eating inside the park!
Get a new ball cap! I have more hats than any girl I know (31 and counting!) but you can never have too many hats right?! There are always a few vendors at the entrance to the Clemente Bridge displaying different styles of hats. You gotta have a cap for the game--Just be sure to take it off when the national anthem is sung!
Walk over the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The bridge is open to pedestrians only on game days. Walking over it is part of the game experience. The ballpark view is right in front of you, there are musicians playing various instruments standing on the railings and fans in Pirates gear as far as you can see. You can hear music as you walk toward Federal Street from the live bands and radio stations set up there.
Get a photo with the Pirate Parrot. Look for this lovable mascot - you can't miss him as he's big and green and wearing a Pirates shirt. He loves mugging for the camera, so put on your cheesy smile and send your pic to your friends to show them how much fun you're having at the ballpark!
Sing "Take Me out to the Ballgame". This beloved baseball tune is sung during the "seventh inning stretch" when everybody stands up. People really get into it, swaying back and forth, arms around each other as they sing. It doesn't matter if you can't hold a note, just sing loudly and enthusiastically and have fun!
Witness The Great Pierogi Race. It happens in the bottom of the 5th inning, so take your snack and bathroom breaks at another time. Root for your favorite stuffed pasta character as they run around the field toward the finish line. Who will win? It may be purse-carrying Jalapeno Hanna, although Sauerkraut Saul is no stranger to victory and Oliver Onion is slick on the track. Cheese Chester is not one to melt under pressure. So cheer them on, and enjoy this uniquely Pittsburgh tradition!
Watch the game like a Pittsburger! Keep score. Get to know the players. Yell at the umpire. Stand up and cheer when the Bucs hit a homerun. Really get into it!
Enjoy the view. PNC Park made the news as a place providing one of the best views in America. That acknowledgement also came from Travel and Leisure. Take in the panoramic view of the river and bridges from one of the "Top Ballparks in the Country".