The dog days of summer are here, bringing with them champion Frisbee-playing canines, popcorn-flavored ice cream, Pokémon Go on bikes, and plenty of chances to venture off the beaten path. Fuel up that Vespa, grab a sunhat and get out there.

Quantum Theatre's Peribañez. Photo by John Altdorfer.
Quantum Theatre’s Peribañez. Photo by John Altdorfer.
Quantum Theatre’s Peribañez. Photo by John Altdorfer.

1. Quantum Theatre’s Peribañez in Mellon Park: August 5-28

This month, the tranquil Mellon Park Rose Garden will be reinvented as the rural Spanish countryside. Marking the first play by Spanish writer Lope de Vega (a contemporary of Shakespeare) ever produced by QuantumPeribañez tells the story of young newlyweds Peribañez and Casilda who are part of a close-knit community of peasant farmers. When the Commander’s obsessive love for Casilda is revealed, the couple must make difficult decisions and sacrifices to save their marriage. Directed by Megan Monaghan Rivas and Tlaloc Rivas, the drama features a cast of 10—including three talented young actors from CMU. Amidst the lush Shadyside garden, the spectacle of the Spanish Golden Age will come to life via live folk music, cockfights, and dancing, along with evocative costumes, lighting and set design. Added bonus? Every performance includes complimentary Spanish-themed bites. Attendees can even picnic in the park before the show, with a $15 gourmet box dinner from Feast On Brilliant. Buy tickets.

Courtesy DreamOn Festival.
Courtesy Omicelo DreamOn Festival.

2. DreamOn Festival in Market Square: August 5 & 6

What would summer be without ice cream and outdoor music? These two cherished pastimes will heat up—and cool down—Market Square when Pittsburgh’s only festival dedicated to music, ice cream, and art unveils its expanded lineup. Free to all ages, DreamOn blends 20 multi-genre concerts, 20 flavors of Dream Cream ice cream, 3 DJs, and local vendors. Get ready to all scream for creative ice cream flavors like birthday bash, cannoli, and cotton candy—and enjoy live performances by Funky Fly Project, Anqwenique, 28 North, Jasmine Tate, Telavision, Emerson Jay, Mic Blaque, Noel Quintana & The Latin Crew, Jessica Lee, and Byron Nash & Plan B. New this year is a showcase of locally produced multimedia art created in collaboration with BOOM Concepts. Also added is a VIP reception celebrating the launch of the new Omicelo Cares nonprofit, taking place August 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Revel + Roost (buy tickets). Via Omicelo Cares and DreamOn, area youth are provided with hands-on opportunities to learn business skills, run a large-scale, citywide event and receive support from festival proceeds.

Courtesy EQT Three Rivers Regatta.
Courtesy EQT Three Rivers Regatta.

3. EQT Three Rivers Regatta: August 5, 6 & 7

From Frisbee-playing dogs to a 90-foot Wheel of Lights, the Regatta is a Pittsburgh summertime classic. Three days of fun in the sun, this year’s aquatic affair boasts an action-packed lineup of events, activities and entertainment on and off the water. Thrill seekers will flock to the Jet Ski freestyle stunt shows, as synchronized performers perfect dazzling acrobatics above and below the water. For more speed, watch world-class drivers return to the Allegheny for first time in nine years to compete in the exhilarating Formula 1 Powerboat Racing series. For a chill vibe, check out the boat parade featuring black and gold-themed crafts, and watch as ingenious contestants enter their DIY contraptions in the wildly popular “Anything That Floats Race.” For terrestrial excitement, head to Point State Park to ride the giant Gondola Ferris Wheel, watch champion canines play Frisbee, view a sculpture made from 150 tons of sand, and see the elite Red Bull Air Force skydivers. Providing the rocking riverfront soundtrack will be Better Than Ezra, Gin Blossoms, American Authors, Beauty Slap, Rodney Atkins, and more. The largest inland regatta in the U.S., the event will also feature a marketplace and food truck roundup on the Clemente Bridge, Kids Zone, and the premiere of Pyrotecnico’s Purple Rain show honoring music icon Prince.

Courtesy Jeff Zoet Visuals.
Courtesy Jeff Zoet Visuals.

4. Feastival in McKees Rocks: August 6

Get ready to rock “The Rocks”—and explore this community nestled 5 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh along the Ohio River—during a free daylong celebration of culture, cuisine and community revitalization spearheaded by the McKees Rocks CDC and Grey Area Productions. Whether it’s Pittsburgh’s favorite filled dumplings at Pierogies Plus, music gear at Hollowood or classes at Father Ryan Arts Center, there are many reasons to make the trip to McKees Rocks. Back with an expanded lineup, the 3rd annual Feastival bursts with live music by national headliners and local luminaries such as Naughty Professor, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Turkuaz, Ian Neville’s Dumstaphunk, and DJ Mike Canton. Attendees can feast on local fare from food trucks, shop for handmade goods at the I Made It! Market, and view exhibitions featuring Radiant Hall artists. For families, there are interactive games and projects aplenty in the Lil Rox Stars Kids’ Area. What began as a cozy pop-up festival is now a thriving showcase of the town t that draws 4,000-plus attendees to the municipal lot located at the corner of Route 51 & Furnace St.

Courtesy Style Week Pittsburgh.
Models wearing designs made by fashion designer Diana Misetic. Photo by Bill Wade.

5. Style Week Pittsburgh: August 18-21

Get to know the movers, shakers and makers propelling Pittsburgh’s fashion industry during this showcase of local designers, artisans, boutiques, stylists, and models. Packed with four days of fashion, art and music, the fourth annual fashionista affair includes a Style Awards ceremony, brunch and discussion program at Revel + Roost, and media Happy Hour at Social Status. Don’t miss the August 20 “Energy” bash at Ace Hotel, featuring art displays, bands, DJs, and an outdoor pop-up shop. Style Week kicks off August 18 with the Freestyle Fashion Show and Exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art. Exploring connections between the women’s rights movement and fashions of decades past, Freestyle will feature work by James Houk and Leesa Kassler, along with images by iconic Pittsburgh photographer Teenie Harris. Stick around for the epic dance party in the Hall of Architecture co-hosted by Hot Mass. Style Week will also feature international figures representing a globally diverse range of styles and influences, highlight the impact of the arts on economic growth, and foster inclusion in the fashion industry. 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 of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.