EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta

Ride 72 miles through 90 Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Make your own vegan sundae. Dress as your fave ’80s hero. Get out there and try something new in August.

1. EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta in Point State Park: August 4–6

Where can you experience thrills on land, through the air and in the water? Packed with three days of free fun, the country’s largest inland regatta marks a major milestone with its 40th anniversary. An exciting new addition is the highly-anticipated debut of the Red Bull Flugtag. The planet’s “wildest homemade human-powered flying craft competition” will feature 40 teams of aspiring aviators and courageous craftspeople launching from a 22-foot flight deck. Cheer on local teams competing in clever crafts inspired by Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Heinz ketchup and Kennywood. Water babies will love the U.S. F1 Powerboat Tour Races—one of the most challenging Formula One courses—as well as the jet ski stunt shows and lighted boat parade. See if it’s sink or sail for the brave contestants in the beloved Anything That Floats Race. Prefer dry land? Watch high-flying canines rock the Frisbee, take a breathtaking ride on the 90-foot Wheel of Lights and see how artists use 150 tons of sand to create intricate sculptures. Look up to spot elite skydiving teams, check out bands on the outdoor stage, and cap off your weekend with spectacular fireworks.

Joy! Portrait of a Nun, Joe Balass, 2012.

2. Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival at Melwood Screening Room: August 4–6

Calling all cinephiles: There’s a cool new film festival in town. The first annual Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival (PUFF) will feature original works created by filmmakers of multi-cultural and multi-gender identity backgrounds, as well as LGBTQ+ shorts made by emerging Pittsburgh directors. The “creative non-conformity” of LGBTQ+ communities will be showcased via overlooked, unconventional and underground films. Developed by Pittsburgh’s longstanding Reel Q Film Festival, PUFF will also host complimentary workshops, lectures and panel discussions. With the opening night doc, attendees will meet the Ovarian Psycos bicycle crew, a “new generation of fierce, unapologetic and feminist women of color from the Eastside of L.A.” The event will include a Q&A with cast members and local activists followed by a community ride with BikePGH. Additional highlights include films exploring the Pittsburgh Queer History Project, and international slam poetry tour led by women, the history of San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence community and trans-rights trailblazers. View a schedule and buy tickets.

Sugar Spell Scoops’ vegan sundae bar. Photo by Amanda Burk.
Sugar Spell Scoops’ vegan sundae bar. Photo by Amanda Burk.

3. Pittsburgh VegFest in Allegheny Commons Park: August 5, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Put down those soft serves and BBQ ribs and discover the greener side of Pittsburgh’s vibrant food and beverage scene. Blending eco-cuisine with ethical living, Pittsburgh’s one-of-a-kind, bigger than ever VegFest is your one-stop for eating well, supporting local entrepreneurs and feeling good about what you consume. Think: frito chili tacos, bahn mi, portabella grinders, sundaes, drumsticks, donuts, gravy fries—and it’s all vegan. The mouth-watering menu of 80-plus vendors boasts Onion Maiden, Randita’s, Fortuitea, and many others. New vendors include Good Chroma, Blue Sparrow Food Truck and Revival Chili. Veggie lovers can check out live music, attend cooking demonstrations and unwind during yoga sessions. The event will also feature raffles, speakers, wellness experts and animal rescue groups. Kids will love the obstacle course bounce house, face painting and glitter and henna art.

Photo by Gary Margetson.

4. BikeFest: August 1227

What has 90 neighborhoods, 40 events and anything imaginable on two wheels? You have 18 epic days to fit in as many events as possible when BikeFest rolls across town with themed rides for all levels and ages. Hops and spokes will collide for the kickoff, when BikeFest teams up with Grist House to release a limited-edition “Outspoken Unfiltered Session Ale” honoring BikePGH‘s 15th anniversary. Get a first taste at the beer release party August 10, where proceeds will benefit BikePGH. Exciting new rides include the PanHandlebar, Hello Hill District and Tour de Taco. The return of the 72-mile 90 Neighborhoods Ride is every cyclist’s dream. BikeFest culminates August 27 with the region’s largest riding event, the 24th annual UPMC Health Plan PedalPGH fundraiser. New this year is the 40-mile ACS Ride to End Cancer, which includes Riverview Park, Phipps and the Cathedral of Learning. With other choices like the 10-mile Peoples Local Loop, 25-mile Highmark City Tour and 62-mile Healthy Ride Ultimate Challenge, there’s a ride made for you. View a schedule and register.

Photo by Chelsea Alberti.

5. Style Week Pittsburgh: August 17–20

For four very stylish days, you can discover the top innovators, entrepreneurs and designers working in Pittsburgh’s burgeoning fashion scene today. Strike a pose and strut the catwalk as you help Style Week Pittsburgh usher in its 5th season. Inspired by the new theme, “Style Meets Innovation,” the showcase will highlight a diverse community of pioneers in art, fashion and business. Highlights include an industry brunch at The Frick Pittsburgh, pop-up maker market, the 2017 Style Awards, and the #IAMSTYLE photo campaign honoring 19 local influencers. Don’t miss the Metamorphosis fashion show at Coterie Pittsburgh where designers will unveil their latest collections. On August 19, don some retro “Back to the Futuresque” threads and head to the Ace Hotel for a haute happening dubbed “Fashion’s Night Out” featuring DJs, vendors and dance performances. View a schedule and buy tickets.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...