Best Summer Events in Pittsburgh

There is never a lack of activity during Pittsburgh in the summer months. This year, there’s even “Bat-watching,” the new sport of experiencing sightings in and around town of the stars of “The Dark Knight Rises,” which will be filming here beginning in July.

Fortunately, CitiParks does a great job of planning annual events. This year they will again host local favorites like Cinema in the Park, free evening movies at various city parks; Reservoir of Jazz, a live series of jazz concerts near the Highland Park Reservoir; or the weekly Mellon Square concert that takes place downtown during lunchtime.

There are over 130 municipalities within Allegheny County, most of which offer their own summer events. Be sure to log on to local media websites such as to check out the regional events calendars.

The season begins with the Pittsburgh Marathon. This year’s event will take place on May 15. The course is a grueling one, thanks to Pittsburgh’s hilly terrain. Yet, year after year, runners converge on our city from all over the world with the hope of winning a prize, or just finishing the race.

June brings the Three Rivers Arts Festival, now in its 51st year. This festival showcases artists in many disciplines including music, dance, several varieties of visual and performance art. The show itself is culturally enlightening, year after year, and there are always awesome free concerts by top name artists.

The Three Rivers Regatta is the largest inland river regatta in the country. Centered around the city’s Fourth of July celebration, the regatta offers sports, concerts, food, and of course a massive fireworks display by the internationally renowned Zambelli and Company.

In August, the Shadyside Arts Festival draws upwards of 50,000 to Pittsburgh’s swanky upscale shopping district. Walnut Street (Shadyside’s main drag) is blocked off, and plenty of artists and musicians demonstrate and sell their wares. If you’re looking for a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for mother-in-law, you’re sure to find something beautifully handmade.

And of course, all summer long you have Pirate baseball at PNC Park, or you can enjoy one of the places Pittsburghers enjoy annually every year. Kennywood Park’s roller coasters are world famous, and smaller children enjoy Idlewild Park, which includes both StoryBook Forest and the Soak Zone. On hot days you can also try Sandcastle, a riverside water park, or the ridiculously fun Boyce Park Wave Pool.

The bottom line is, there’s plenty to do this summer in and around Pittsburgh, even if you’re not into Bat-watching!