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A Can’t-Miss Lineup of New and Returning Festivals Found Only in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH – This year’s lineup of Only in Pittsburgh fall festivals and events lures visitors by showcasing the region’s thriving music, food, craft beer and cultural scenes all with a stunning backdrop of autumn colors.
“The fall is such a vibrant, exciting time to visit Pittsburgh,” VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO Jerad Bachar said. “Visitors have their pick of festivals and activities this season, ranging from outdoor excursions to indoor spectacles. VisitPITTSBURGH invites visitors to explore our region’s expansive art, music, food and cultural festivals this season.”
The Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival (HBHF) opens the fall festival season Sept. 14-15 at Highmark Stadium. Presented by the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), this two-day festival celebrates hope, roots and the connections that music makes across races, neighborhoods and beliefs.
The good tunes continue with the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) Sept. 16-18, featuring more than 100 musicians including celebrated legends and new pioneers in jazz, funk and fusion. PIJF festivities begin at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center Sept. 16 for a Ron Carter Foursight performance and A Taste of Jazz opening night celebration, followed by a two-day festival loaded with national and local musical talent at Highmark Stadium.
New this fall is a completely reimagined Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood on select dates Sept. 24 - Oct. 30. Guests now have the option to do Halloween their way, with family-friendly fun, rides and decorations during the day and frights all night across seven haunted houses and four scare zones. For the truly fearless, mALICE in Wonderland challenges guests to choose their own adventure and escape the terrifying interactive maze.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is the perfect spot for a fall date night as the Asian Lantern Festival lights up Highland Park Thursdays-Sundays through Oct. 30. The 2022 event features an all-new, dinosaur-focused display of luminous sculptures to marvel at while learning about Asian culture and enjoying themed entertainment and food.
Just outside the city, visitors can celebrate fall at festivals that honor the region’s history or agricultural heritage. Step back in time and explore a village of craftsmen at the Penn’s Colony Festival Sept. 17-18 and 24-25, then relive the Battle of Fort Ligonier with authentic reenactments at Fort Ligonier Days Oct. 14-16. Find fresh-pressed cider at Mars Apple Fest Oct. 1 and ride a real trolley to the pumpkin patch courtesy of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum Oct. 21-23.
Go around the world in nine days, one story at a time, at the Reel Q Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival Oct. 6-15. This storied festival is the sixth oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world, showcasing 20 feature films and 50+ short films across a variety of genres.
Visitors can celebrate Pittsburgh’s Latin American cultures at the 40th Annual Latin America & Caribbean Festival Oct. 15 at the University of Pittsburgh’s Posvar Hall Patio. This free festival features food vendors, musicians, performers, arts and crafts and more!
No fall festival lineup would be complete without craft beer celebrations. The fall beer season begins with Oktoberfest at Penn Brewery Sept. 16-18 and 23-25 and Rocktoberfest at South Side Works Sept. 17. In October, sip on the field at PNC Park with 125+ drink options at the All Star Craft Beer, Wine & Cocktail Festival Oct. 1, named one of the Top 5 Beer Festivals in the world by USA Today. Then, join the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild for Three Rivers Beer Week Oct. 2-9 for a celebration of all things Pittsburgh beer, beginning with First Pour Beer Festival at THIS IS RED in Munhall Oct. 1.
Additional Only in Pittsburgh fall festivals and events include; Rivers of Steel’s Festival of Combustion Oct. 8; Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Blooms Under the Big Top Oct. 8-30; and the Pittsburgh Monster Pumpkins Festival Oct. 15-16.
According to recent Destination Analysts American Traveler Sentiment Study (July 2022), 76% of American Travelers express high levels of enthusiasm toward travel, with a similar percent planning at least one leisure trip in the next 18 months.
VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. The organization is dedicated to generating business events, sports events and leisure travel.