DJ at The Bash at City Theatre
DJ QRX at THE BASH in 2022. Photo courtesy of City Theatre.

What’s going on this weekend in Pittsburgh, September 8-10? Find out here. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Friday, Sept. 8-Sunday, Sept. 10: A Fair in the Park at Mellon Park
Various times

For three days in September, one of Pittsburgh’s green space jewels is also one of its most esteemed art fairs. Going strong for 54 years, the free open-air marketplace showcases 85 artisans selling one-of-a-kind pieces in a range of media, including glass, metal, ceramics, fiber, wood and leather. Pop into Phipps’ botanical boutique to shop for houseplants, paper flowers, horticultural art, organic juices and candles. The weekend features food trucks, Calliope House music, Creative Citizens Studio activities and a scavenger hunt exploring local landmarks. Hours.

Ally the Piper performs at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival
Ally the Piper. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Irish Festival.

Friday, Sept. 8-Sunday, Sept. 10: Pittsburgh Irish Festival at Carrie Blast Furnaces
Various times
Traverse the Emerald Isle (without trekking 3,378 miles!) to experience culture, cuisine and lore surrounded by a steel industry landmark. So much is new for the luck of the Irish this year. Take a virtual reality tour of the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, explore traditional sports like hurling, camogie and Gaelic football and make music in the interactive Steeltown Acoustic Instruments Experience. Schedule and tickets.

A person looking at a work of art by Susie Ganch
Susie Ganch, “Pile Series: Remember Me, Katrina (detail),” 2015. Photo by David Hunter Hale.

Friday, Sept. 8: Climate Awakening: Crafting a Sustainable Future T Contemporary Craft
5:30-8 p.m.

Contemporary Craft explores the complexities of climate change through the lens of art. Featuring work by four artists, Climate Awakening is the fifth exhibition in the organization’s “series of socially engaged art experiences.” Adrien Segal, Susie Ganch, Courtney Mattison and Meghan Price create work in a range of media — from glass, wood and ceramics, to discarded materials and low-relief sculpture — that serves as a catalyst for community engagement and eco action. Don’t miss the free opening reception.

MakerDate. Photo courtesy of Assemble.

Saturday, Sept. 9: MakerDate at the Union Project
6-9 p.m.

Why bid on auction items you can’t afford and don’t have room for when you can bid on a date with an inspiring artist?! Experience how MakerDate rewrites the book on the nonprofit fundraiser and puts a creative twist on the traditional dating scene. Attendees bid on “dates” with artists, crafters, technologists and innovators with proceeds supporting Assemble’s free STEAM education programs. The night features live and silent auctions, music, raffles, drinks and light bites. Tickets.

Film still from “Abled: The Blake Leeper Story"
“Abled: The Blake Leeper Story.” Film still courtesy of Film Pittsburgh.

Friday, Sept. 8-Sunday, Sept. 10: ReelAbilities Film Festival at Pittsburgh Playhouse
Various times

Be uplifted by the region’s only film festival amplifying the lives, stories and experiences of people living with disabilities. For its 11th anniversary, ReelAbilities showcases five feature films and 14 shorts. Three nights of in-person festivities include after-parties, filmmaker Q&As and an art exhibition featuring artists from Studio Forget-Me-Not. Couch potatoes are in luck because the fest also offers virtual screenings. Not to miss on Saturday is the Pittsburgh premiere of “Abled: The Blake Leeper Story,” which includes a Q&A with the remarkable Paralympic runner and an after-party. Showtimes and tickets.

Actors outside a campfire in Vigilance Theater's "Campfire Stories"
“Campfire Stories.” Photo courtesy of Vigilance Theater.

Friday, Sept. 8 & Saturday, Sept, 9: “Campfire Stories” at Camp Guyasuta
8 p.m.

Watching a play in a theater is inspiring but experiencing one outdoors around a campfire is a total thrill. Join Vigilance Theater for a night of scary stories and mystery in the woods of O’Hara Township. Your spine will tingle as four actors tell tales of terror — including one by a local writer — with plenty of mystery and suspense. Before the storytelling gets underway, enjoy late summer snacking with s’mores and even some fire-dancing entertainment. Tickets.

Family House Polo Match. Photo by Greg Sciulli.

Saturday, Sept. 9: Family House Polo Match at Hartwood Acres
10 a.m.

For four decades, this tradition has helped Family House provide patients and caregivers with affordable lodging while traveling to Pittsburgh for critical medical care. Show off your chic polo attire in the photo booth, peruse the Sip & Shop boutique tents and watch demonstrations by the adorable and smart Sewickley Hunt Hounds. Highlights include the opening ceremonies, festive tailgating, silent auction, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix car display, live music by Smokin’ Section and even pony rides for the kiddies. During half-time, head onto the field to “stomp the divots.” It all culminates with the exhilarating professional polo match. Tickets.

Before the Pittsburgh Art Book Fair, a special preview show is on view at the Miller ICA through Sept. 3. Photo by Chris Uhren.
Pittsburgh Art Book Fair preview show at the Miller ICA. Photo by Chris Uhren.

Saturday, Sept. 9 & Sunday, Sept. 10: Pittsburgh Art Book Fair at Carnegie Museum of Art
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Artists, designers and bookworms will converge for this celebration of printed matter. Surrounded by the museum’s world-class collection, the free fair showcases 60 local, national and international artists. Go beyond the page to explore book making and publishing during discussions and workshops, including a conversation led by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Erin Zona and Imin Yeh. Schedule.

A band performs on an outdoor stage at the Summer Recess festival at Spirit in Lawrenceville
Summer Recess at Spirit. Photo by Chris Sprowls.

Saturday, Sept. 9: Spirit Summer Recess
2 p.m.-2 a.m.

Spirit knows that summer is NOT over. The club’s largest annual party returns for an anything-goes, all-day and all-night celebration of music, cuisine and art. Pairing national and local acts, the sprawling festivities showcase bands indoors and outdoors on multiple stages. Creating the festival vibes will be a curated vendor market, food offerings and a new Spirit Wall Mural. Headliners include Atlanta-based garage rockers Black Lips and DJs Coco and Breezy from NYC. Bonus: The festival is free from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets.

Saturday, Sept. 9: THE BASH at City Theatre
5:30 p.m.

Skip the cocktail attire, this night calls for cookout chic. Livening up the nonprofit fundraiser circuit, City Theatre takes the party into the streets. A chill late summer vibe descends on the company’s historic campus for a block party featuring street food stations and craft cocktails inspired by the new season’s plays. The festivities include live music, lawn games, photo booths, an artisan marketplace, silent auctions, and a dance party. Tickets.

Allegheny River at sunrise in Downtown Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

Sunday, Sept. 10: Sunrise Paddle in Downtown Pittsburgh
7 a.m.

There’s nothing quite like experiencing sunrise illuminating the Golden Triangle from the seat of a kayak. Recharge for the week ahead and catch early morning views out on the glistening water. The paddling pros from Venture Outdoors will lead the way as the group launches from Kayak Pittsburgh’s Downtown pop-up location. Tickets.

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.