Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to more than 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams?composed of at least two people?vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race?style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
The Silk Screen Asian-American Film Festival, part of a larger vision for a future Asia Center of Pittsburgh, is an annual event highlighting the considerable cinematic output of filmmakers from India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Iran, as well as other nations you might one day inhabit according to childhood sessions of "Spin the Globe." This year's event—the fifth annual—features a slate of films to rival past years' entries. This year's flicks include such noteworthy efforts as The Harimaya Bridge, Cooking with Stella, and The Taqwacores, among many others. Your pass gives you access to eight of the festival's films, giving you the chance to give a total of 24 thumbs up.
Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears that have been damaged by the cacophony of city life and the screeching of prima-donna chalkboards. Singing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits from her storied career, as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle.
During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a vibrant race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first place award of $750. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned consulting detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, it's quick wits and wise planning that will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and a free T-shirt, as well as helps with contributions to partner charities and the prize pool. The website offers a FAQ page with further details on the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring your pet boa constrictor, and more.
When organizers were planning last year's inaugural Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival, they expected about 1,000 people to show up. They ended up with a crowd of more than 7,000. And it's no wonder, considering how highly the European dumpling ranks among the city's beloved foods. As Stephan Bontrager, one of the organizers of the fest, told the Post-Gazette in 2013, pierogis are "one of those Pittsburgh pride things."
Locals can once again show their love for the chewy concoctions at this year's fest, where there will be at least 15 vendors serving both traditional and contemporary versions. Perennial favorite Gosia's will be using a pierogi recipe handed down through generations of their Polish family, while Square Cafe will be giving attendees another chance to taste their coffee-spiked dumplings. There'll be plenty to do besides eat, of course. Other attractions include a beer tent (sponsored by Yuengling) and a pop-up market with handcrafted gifts such as pierogi earrings and toasty pierogi slippers.