Performance pour at the Festival of Combustion
Performance pour at the Festival of Combustion. Photo courtesy of Rivers of Steel.

What’s going on this weekend in Pittsburgh, Oct. 5-8? Find out here. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Thursday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 8: GAP Relay Trail Challenge Virtual Event
Various times

Now underway all month as a virtual adventure based on the breathtaking Great Allegheny Passage, this new fitness experience includes motivating movement challenges and running, walking, cycling and kayaking. It’s also a chance to support the GAP Conservancy‘s ongoing maintenance of the 150-mile trail. Register.

Friday, Oct. 6 & Saturday, Oct. 7: Traveling Beer Market and DogtoberFEST at The Waterfront
5-9 p.m. & 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

You’ve got two great reasons to head under the Homestead Grays Bridge. Why spend happy hour inside when you can kick off the weekend at the open-air Traveling Beer Market? Unwind on the lawn to sample suds from local breweries and grab dinner from the Let’s Taco Food Truck. Get Fido suited up and head back on Saturday because Octoberfest is not just for humans and brews! Help raise awareness about dog rescues and shelters at Pennsylvania’s largest adoption event. The furry festivities feature specialty vendors, live music, vet booths, training and grooming demos and even an ice cream van. The highlight is the “pooch pride parade costume contest” with PAWsome prizes.

Mark Houser leads a tour at the top of the Koppers Building in Downtown Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy of Mark Houser.

Friday, Oct. 6-Sunday, Oct. 8: Pittsburgh Architecture Week
Various times

Pittsburgh’s built environment gives our region character, charm and a distinctive sense of place with landmark buildings designed by H.H. Richardson, Frederick Osterling, Daniel Burnham and other pioneering architects. Now you can explore architecture all around us with eight days of exhibits, panels, activities and tours. Don’t miss the rare chance to ascend to the top of four iconic buildings for “new views of Pittsburgh from a peregrine falcon’s perspective” during Mark Houser’s Antique Skyscrapers Rooftop Views Tours. Schedule.

“Azure Droplet,” Nancy Callan. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Friday, Oct. 6: Unblurred Art Crawl on Penn Avenue
5:30-10 p.m.

The weather forecast looks idyllic for the fall edition of this neighborhood crawl highlighting all that’s new along the arts corridor spanning 4800 to 5500 Penn Ave. There’s so much to experience in Bloomfield and Garfield at cultural and commercial destinations, from a photography open house at The Lab @ Silver Eye, crafty gifts at Workshop PGH and contemporary art Boom Concepts. Don’t miss the free opening reception at Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Friday, Oct. 6: World Affairs Council Soiree & Illuminate Awards at The Jane
6-11 p.m.

Celebrate 92 years of connecting Pittsburgh to the world and honor the recipients of the David Glick Memorial Fund’s 2023 Illuminate Awards. This year, the World Affairs Council’s benefit bash also honors the 50-year legacy of hip-hop as a universal “platform to express identity and give voice to global issues.” Take your tastebuds on a world tour with fusion-inspired cuisine, enjoy music and theater performances, and dance the night away with DJ Femi on the South Side. Tickets.

Photo courtesy of Bike PGH.

Saturday, Oct. 7: Women & Non-Binary Bike Summit at East End Cooperative Ministry
9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Eager to hop on two wheels but need a boost to feel comfortable and confident riding around the Burgh? This Bike PGH Summit is here to empower women and non-binary people with the tools and resources they need to thrive as cyclists. The one-day forum offers an inclusive mix of community-building experiences, from bicycle education, group rides and morning yoga, to workshops, a gear swap and an after-party. For its milestone 10th anniversary, the summit is offering childcare and foreign language and ASL interpretation. In addition to the keynote talk by Keshia Roberson, additional workshops will take place at The Wheel Mill, Free Ride and Frick Park. And check out our guide to 6 Pittsburgh bike shops for all kinds of riders. Tickets.

Saturday, Oct. 7: Pittsburgh StepTrek on the South Side
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

One of Pittsburgh’s most unique features is its collection of 800 sets of city steps. Think you have what it takes to ascend them? Help this beloved Pittsburgh fest raise funds to maintain the city’s iconic steps via the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association. Highlighting photography, history and neighborhood pride, the pay-what-you-can event includes access to digital maps and route narratives. Day-of registration takes place in the UPMC employee parking lot at 21st and Josephine streets. Tickets.

Daniel Levin chronicles the work of Amnon Weinstein, the master violin maker, restorer and founder of the Violins of Hope. He visited Weinstein’s Tel Aviv workshop (shown here) to photograph the restorations in progress and is the only photographer to capture his masterful techniques to save them from being erased from history. His exhibition runs Oct. 15-Dec. 8, 2023 at the JCC’s American Jewish Museum.

Saturday, Oct. 7: Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh at Multiple venues
Various times

Over the next six weeks, organizations, institutions and musicians around the region are uniting as part of this groundbreaking project focused on the valuable lessons of the Holocaust. Launched by Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh, the collaborative series includes 61 related exhibits, concerts, lectures, films, interfaith programs, and a World Kindness Day Celebration. Reserve your free timed tickets now for the main exhibition — showcasing a treasured collection of string instruments — which opens today at CMU’s Posner Center. Read more about Violins of Hope in NEXTpittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of Rivers of Steel.

Saturday, Oct. 7: Festival of Combustion at the Carrie Blast Furnaces
1-9 p.m.

The towering furnaces along the Mon don’t produce molten iron for the global steel industry anymore, but they do spark creativity and curiosity. With eight hours of hands-on experiences, the National Historic Landmark morphs into a glowing showcase of industrial arts and American crafts. The heartbeat of Rivers of Steel’s unique festival will be dazzling hot metal pours. Beyond the spectacle of spark, the storied factory hosts live music, flame performances, a maker market, food trucks and, of course, fireworks. Tickets.

Sunday, Oct. 8: Neighborhood Flea at The Stacks at 3 Crossings
10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The crisp fall air brings the perfect time to channel your inner flea market shopper! Search for treasures and gifts at this open-air event featuring 100 vendors and sellers. Live painting and local DJs add to the experience, along with food trucks and hands-on activities.

BONUS: Read NEXT’s October Event Guide for more top picks this weekend — including the Steel City Big Pour, Fall Flower Show, Reel Q Film Festival and Fall Home Show.

Find more things to do in Pittsburgh, including outdoor recreation, farmers’ markets, live music, 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.