45th Annual Fair in the Park; 24th Annual Pittsburgh Irish Fest (CPs Fri., 9/5/14)

1) The 45th annual A Fair in the Park begins a three-day run in Shadyside’s Mellon Park today. Promoted as a contemporary fine craft and arts show and sale, it includes performances, concerts, food, and children’s activities. The Fair is presented by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and Citiparks. Today’s musical entertainers are Jenny Wilson Trio (1 and 4 p.m.) and Ruby Red and the Dirty Devils (2:30 and 5:30 p.m.).  Fair hours today are 1 – 7  p.m. Free. Fifth and Shady avenues.

2) Also beginning a three-day weekend run is the 24th annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival at the Riverplex at Sandcastle. Great Irish musicians, dancers, and performers play all day and night on several stages. Highlights include Pittsburgh favorites, Red Hand Paddy (8 p.m.)  and  Corned Beef and Curry (9:15 p.m.) on the Celtic Spirit Stage and POGEY (8:45 p.m.) and Scythian (10 p.m.) on the Emerald Stage. Plenty of Irish food can be washed down with Irish beers, ciders, and whiskeys. 4 – 11 p.m. 1000 Sandcastle Dr., West Homestead.

3) Singer-songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band visit the Carnegie Library Music Hall on their 2014 tour. Much can be said of Shepherd’s prolific library—it’s raw, southern-styled, slightly grungy, and highly bluesy. Shepherd, 37, hails from Shreveport, La.; his southern roots are apparent in his music. Impressively, he’s relatively young compared to many of his blues compatriots, though he’s been recording music since he was only 16 years old; he released his first studio album, Ledbetter Heights, in 1995. It’s no wonder: He’s got a hell of a talent for blues guitar and boasts a strong stage presence. Since that first release, he’s carved out an enviable reputation as one of America’s most accomplished blues guitarists. Besides selling millions of albums, Shepherd has received five Grammy nominations, two Billboard Music Awards, and a slew of other awards specific to the blues genre. His current tour promotes and celebrates his newest release, Goin’ Home, which hit shelves earlier this year. Joined by the Jeff Fetterman Band. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall.

4) Pandemic will break out at Brillobox tonight. Symptoms of this DJ dance party are a wide grin  and the uncontrollable urge to shake your body parts. This strain of Pandemic, derived from world folk and contemporary dance music, could be studied, but it is better understood through collecting experiential evidence. Pandemic presents Meltdown, a hot winter mix containing strains of cool tropical vibes. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield.

5) Good Fridays at the Warhol is a weekly party at the museum, featuring art exhibits, music, and cocktails in the high temple to Andy Warhol’s numerous talents. Half-price museum admission. 5 – 10 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Shore.

6)  Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn Avenue features a variety of visual and performing arts at galleries, clubs, and restaurants. 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. along Penn Avenue (4800-5500) in the Garfield, Bloomfield, and Friendship neighborhoods. Most events are free.

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Rick Handler

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