What’s going on this weekend in Pittsburgh, August 17-20? Find out here. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Thursday, Aug. 17-Sunday, Aug. 20: Little Italy Days in Bloomfield
Various times

Ready to live “La dolce vita?” Because it’s time for the region’s largest heritage festival to set up shop in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Eat, shop and sing your way through a street fair that’s 10 football fields long, watch pizza stretching demos and catch entertainment from 30 acts on three stages. Be transported to the Old Country with strolling accordion players, opera singers, traditional dancing and more. Highlights include the Celebrity Bocce Challenge and dramatic Italian procession. From Billy Mancini’s Rat Pack tribute to the Earth, Wind & Fire tribute sensation, you’ll be dancing in the streets. Schedule.

Actors in The Sound Inside at barebones productions
“The Sound Inside” runs through Aug. 26 at the Barebones Black Box theater in Braddock. Photo by Duane Rieder.

Thursday, Aug. 17-Sunday, Aug. 20: “The Sound Inside” at the Barebones Black Box
Various times

You have two more weekends to catch the Pittsburgh premiere of Adam Rapp’s Tony Award-winning thriller. It’s also the 23rd Pittsburgh premiere for the Braddock-based company led by Patrick Jordan. With Jordan in the director’s seat, the riveting mystery debuts in the intimate 65-seat venue with a cast of two. Running through Aug. 26, “The Sound Inside” marks the stage return of Pittsburgh native Elena Passarello as Bella. Audiences will find out what unfolds when the “isolated creative writing professor at Yale begins to mentor a brilliant but enigmatic student named Christopher [and] the two form an unexpectedly intense bond.” Playing Christopher is Max Pavel, who has performed on stages from Paris to California. Showtimes and tickets.

Thursday, Aug. 17-Sunday, Aug. 20: Skullfest Punk Spectacular at Multiple Venues
Various times

The city delivers punk rock in all of its many sounds and dimensions all weekend long at music venues around the city. Showcases take place at Cattivo, Brillobox, Spirit, Thunderbird Café & Music Hall, Babyland, and the West Penn Recreation Center in Polish Hill. The four days of punk rock mayhem also include a pre-party and after-parties, drag shows and dance parties. Schedule and tickets.

Players at the GAMMA Pickleball Classic
Photo courtesy of GAMMA Sports.

Friday, Aug. 18-Sunday, Aug. 20: GAMMA Pickleball Classic at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Various times

If you’re hooked on the country’s fastest-growing sport — or wondering what all the hype is about — this free event is the perfect place to discover the hottest (and loudest?) game in the land. Devotees might not even realize that the sport’s premiere U.S. indoor tournament takes place right here in the Burgh. Join the craze as 1,000-plus pickleball pros vie for $30,000 in cash prizes in this competition run by Gamma Sports, which operates a cutting-edge facility on Washington’s Landing. Beyond the court, GAMMA supports the Parkinson Foundation of Western PA. Ready to grab a racket? Read our Pittsburgh pickleball guide

Figure of Martin Delany at the Heinz History Center
Photo courtesy of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Friday, Aug. 18 & Saturday, Aug. 19: Martin R. Delany Symposium at Heinz History Center
6-9 p.m. & 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

This first-of-its-kind conference returns to present an unprecedented look at the remarkable life, legacy and career of a 19th-century African-American leader who spent his formative years in Pittsburgh. Presented by the History Center’s African American Program, the symposium kicks off with a Friday night welcome reception. On Saturday, acclaimed speakers and scholars will discuss Delany’s indelible impact as an abolitionist, newspaper, doctor and the highest-ranking Black officer during the Civil War. Tickets.

Friday, Aug. 18: Summer Fridays at The Frick Pittsburgh
6:30 p.m.
Spread out a blanket and set up a picnic on the Point Breeze grounds for a night of music at magic hour. Perfect for steamy summer, the series welcomes local roots reggae powerhouse, Truth and Rites. Featuring musicians from Ghana, Jamaica, Pittsburgh and Trinidad, they’re guaranteed to get you on your feet. Kicking things off is DJ High Pressure, founder of Pittsburgh’s monthly Roots Sessions event. For more reggae, don’t miss the Rock, Reggae and Relief festival on Saturday.

Friday, Aug. 18: Party at the Pier at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Rooftop Terrace
7:30 p.m.

“Hidden gem” is a phrase often used to describe our city. It’s also the intriguing theme of one of the summer’s most scenic parties. Riverlife’s benefit bash debuts a fab new look and location. Head up to the convention center’s rooftop to be greeted by pop-up performances, jewel-inspired libations and sweeping vistas. It’s an idyllic backdrop for highlighting Riverlife’s accomplishments in waterfront transformation. The gala will glisten with dancers, music by Rythm6, a DJ and piano combo and themed food and drink. Tickets.

Photo courtesy of the Health & Wellness Weekend.

Saturday, Aug. 19: Health & Wellness Weekend in the Hill District
8 a.m.

Lace up, hop on two wheels and join the wellness movement. There’s an activity to get everyone outside and moving with a run, walk and ride. Spanning Centre Avenue in the heart of the Hill will be live entertainment, children’s activities, a health expo, free food, giveaways and more. The weekend is designed to unite and uplift various communities throughout the city via relationship building and communal activities. Pre-game the fun at the 10th anniversary opening cocktail reception at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Register.

Photo by Chris Uhren.

Saturday, Aug. 19: Inside Out Night Party at Carnegie Museum of Art
7 p.m.-12 a.m.

One of the summer’s must-do outdoor parties is supersizing the action with extended hours and offerings under the stars. STAYCEE PEARL and Soy Sos will turn the Sculpture Court into a lush dance party featuring sounds spanning Afrobeat, dancehall and reggaeton to Soca, hip-hop and techno. Philadelphia’s emcee Queen Jo and DJs Na$h and Afrik of Interna$ional Bounce join hometown fave DJ Femi to keep the vibes flowing. Make a day of it by reserving a timed ticket to see the new exhibition, Unsettling Matter, Gaining Ground.

Photo by Aviana Adams.

Sunday, Aug. 20: Ballet Under the Stars at Hartwood Acres
5:30 p.m.

A jewel of the ongoing Allegheny County Summer Concert Series is this free outdoor performance by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Arrive early with your youngest ballerinas in tow for the Pre-show Family Activities, including food trucks, kids’ stations, grab-and-go crafts and dance classes. Or opt for the Picnic in the Park to join fellow ballet enthusiasts and PBT Artistic Director Adam W. McKinney under the tent for drinks, dinner and meet-and-greets with PBT artists. As the sun sets, the PBT will present a free mixed repertory performance featuring classical and contemporary works. Register.

Find more things to do in Pittsburgh, including outdoor recreation, farmers’ markets, music festivals, movies and family activities.


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.