The sounds of guitars, bodhrans, fiddles, tin whistles surrounds visitors. The aromas of traditional Irish cuisine waft through the air, and around every turn is some new piece of Irish culture. No, this isn't some daydream fueled by too much shepherd's pie. Each year, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival transforms a small part of the city into the Emerald Isle. In total, the festival schedules more than 28 hours of entertainment over the course of three days. Four stages play host to Irish rock and other traditional music. Visitors might also see Irish step dancing and storytellers, who breathe new life into traditional legends and folktales.
Hands-on activities also dot the festival grounds, including the chance to pet native Irish dogs or even search your family tree for Irish ancestors. And in addition to traditional cuisine, the festival hosts a tasting tent with Irish whiskey, Irish cider, and Irish experts who explain how these spirits are made.
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.
Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
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.
Where's the best place to enjoy more than 101 European beers? Beneath a 6,000 square-foot tent in the great outdoors, of course. That's where the Great European Beer Festival brings some of the best brews from across the pond?with special attention paid to the hops-filled land of Belgium. Names like Piraat, Lindeman?s, Chimay, and Duvel greet festival attendees as they work their way through the tent, which also shelters Belgian cuisine, live musicians, and the tinier musicians that live inside their tubas.
Hosted by the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, The Great European Beer Festival has been a tradition for nearly two decades. The festivities kick off with an "Ultimate Bier Dinner," during which chefs pair Belgian ales with equally Belgian cuisine, such as duck sausage and imported cheese. The festival then hosts multiple beer-drinking sessions over the course of two days.