Pittsburgh Irish Festival and A Fair in the Park Begin; ‘Rivers Don’t Know’ Opens; Pour at the Park (Fri., 9/10/21)

PITTSBURGH IRISH FESTIVAL— September 10 – 12, The Lots at Sandcastle

We Banjo 3 and performers from other groups jamming together at 2015 Pittsburgh Irish Festival. (photo: Rick Handler)

We Banjo 3 and performers from other groups jamming together at 2015 Pittsburgh Irish Festival. (photo: Rick Handler)

1) Two rules of Irishness: (1) You do not have to be Irish to enjoy Irish things. (2) You might be more Irish than you think. This year’s Pittsburgh Irish Festival is billed as the city’s “30th Annual Celtic Celebration”—and since scholars say the ancient Celts populated lands from Austria to Portugal, this takes in everybody from Sigmund Freud to Cristiano Ronaldo. They’d both have a blast at the Festival. Irish and Irish-ish musical acts perform constantly through the weekend. Headliners include Titanic favorites Gaelic Storm and the all-female Celtic rockers Screaming Orphans. Also on tap are local favorites like Corned Beef & Curry, Devilish Merry, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Dennis Doyle, The Wild Geese, Weekend at Blarneys, and Donnie Irish. plus at least three pipe bands (there is no such thing as too much bagpipes), and many more. In addition to music and dancing, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival has storytelling, arts and crafts, experts on Irish/Celtic culture and genealogy, etc., along with Irish foods, Irish whiskey, stout, and mead. The Festival is Irishness writ as large as it can be writ. Come one, come all. 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The Lots at Sandcastle, 1000 Sandcastle Dr., West Homestead. (M.V.)      

A FAIR IN THE PARK—September 10 -12, Mellon Park

Pittsburgh artist Yelena lamm in front of her colorful paintings and clothing at the 2017 Fair in the Park. (photo: Rick Handler)

Pittsburgh artist Yelena lamm in front of her colorful paintings and clothing at the 2017 Fair in the Park. (photo: Rick Handler)

2) The annual A Fair in the Park will happen again this year in Shadyside’s Mellon Park after taking a year off due to covid-19 . Promoted as a contemporary fine crafts and arts show and sale, it includes art and craft demonstrations, performances, concerts, food, and children’s activities (sponsored by Blick Art Materials). The Fair is presented by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and Citiparks. Musical highlights include several concerts by performers from Calliope, Pittsburgh’s Folk Music Society, and other local performers. Food trucks and local vendors will be on hand including Pitaland, Mac and Gold truck, Rita’s Italian Ices, South Side BBQ, and Zeke’s Coffee. Fair hours are: Friday, 1 – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. -7 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fifth and Shady Aves., Shadyside/Point Breeze/Squirrel Hill. (R.H.)

3) The Rivers Don’t Know, a pre-regular season play is done in association with Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse and Cornerstone Theater Company, chronicles the experiences of refugees and immigrants in Pittsburgh. The story is told through three subplots and the common threads running through them. They include a 1940s steel mill worker, a Somali family, and a class of ESL (English as Second Language) students, and what it means to be Pittsburghers.

For the past two years playwright James McManus and director Michael John Garcés have conducted interviews and story circles (both in person and virtually) with immigrant communities and partner organizations in Pittsburgh. The results of their research became the basis for the play, The Rivers Don’t Know. The production has nine main characters and a chorus of five.

Admission is free, but registration for tickets is required. With some adult language, The Rivers Don’t Know is best suited for adults and kids 12 and over. Runs today through September 19. For more information and to register for tickets visit City Theatre on the web or contact the box office at (412) 431-2489. The location for this production is at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, 350 Forbes Avenue, Downtown.

The following covid mitigation measures will be taken for this production: all staff and artists are fully vaccinated, all staff and patrons will be required to wear masks, and the Playhouse will only be seated to 70% of capacity. 

There will be many beers, and spirits, to sample at Pour at the Park in North Park. (photo: Gina Vensel)

There will be many different beers, and spirits, to sample at Pour at the Park in North Park. (photo: Easy Street Promotions)

4) The Allegheny County Parks Foundation is having a very exciting fundraiser at North Park Lodge—its annual Pour at the Park. The event, which occurs Friday, September 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will feature beer, spirit, and food tastings. Participants include: A Few Bad Apples, Big Spring Spirits, Blakes Hard Cider, Churn Gibsonia, Dancing Gnome Brewery, Dive Bar & Grille, Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. (with a variety of beers), Hofbrauhaus Brewery & Restaurant, Kate’s Real Food, Mindful Brewing, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Platform Beer Co., Porky’s Smokehouse, Threadbare Cider House and Meadery, 2 JAS Distilling, Waffles INCaffeinated, and Wigle Whiskey.

Live music will be provided by the bluegrass/folk group, Buffalo Rose. Prize baskets valued at $250 to $500 each will be awarded by a ticket raffle.  Come on out and support the Allegheny County Parks Foundation and its mission to improve, conserve and restore the nine Allegheny County Parks. This is a family friendly event. Sorry no dogs though. Event tickets required.