Pittsburgh Soul Food Festival
Pittsburgh Soul Food Festival. Photo courtesy of 18ricco.

The NEXTpittsburgh event guide is underwritten in part by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Aug. 29-Sept. 4? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for changing Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Monday, Aug. 29: Sunset Paddle in Sharpsburg
7-9 p.m.
The sun is starting to set earlier as August comes to a close, so get out there and make the most of summer’s last weeks. Paddle out to observe the various birds and wildlife that appear at twilight and take in tranquil views along the Allegheny River from the seat of a kayak during this excursion led by Venture Outdoors. Buy tickets.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Yoga in Market Square
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Exhale your way through hump day and get centered in the heart of Market Square. Enjoy a free BYOM (bring your own mat!) class led by Montana Mitchell of Yoga Six, then grab dinner and drinks Downtown. Reserve your spot in advance because sessions often sell out.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: “Dr. Strangelove” at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park
It’s the last night to catch a flick under the stars on iconic Flagstaff Hill and this year, the city’s Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park series is going out with a bang. With Oakland, CMU and Phipps providing a dramatic backdrop — and the Russia-Ukraine war still looming — Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 Cold War satire will be even more powerful to watch. Starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, the Oscar-winning film is loosely based on Peter George’s 1958 novel “Red Alert.”

Thursday, Sept. 1: Virtual Hike-A-Thon with the National Aviary
Various times
Hit the trails to bond with nature and while supporting conservation. After debuting last year, the online fundraiser allows supporters to participate virtually from anywhere in the world. That means you can hike, walk, bike, bird-watch and explore wherever you are — solo or as part of a team. Using a new online platform, participants can log their miles throughout September, meet fellow bird nerds and animal lovers and connect with the Aviary. Funds raised will help the Aviary care for 500 animals and participate in international conservation projects. Join now.

Rib Fest at Heinz Field
Photo courtesy of Rib Fest.

Thursday, Sept. 1-Sunday, Sept. 4: Kickoff and Rib Festival at Acrisure Stadium
Noon-11 p.m.
Prepare your palate for a weekend of mouth-watering, stick to your ribs, well … ribs while ushering in the football season during this Labor Day tradition. Along with national rib vendors, there will be street parties along Art Rooney Avenue, the Zodiac Motorcycle Club Bike Ride and music by Billy Price. New attractions include the world’s largest corn hole tournament benefiting Veterans Place, a Farm to Table Farmers Market, the Jim Beam Backyard BBQ Experience and a Battlegories DJ Battle. Buy tickets.

Max Pinckers, A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Jeff Wall and Hokusai), 2015/2022.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Benefit Auction Preview Party at Silver Eye Center for Photography
7 p.m.
Get a first look at the incredible works in Silver Eye’s upcoming benefit auction, hang out with the featured artists who are leading practitioners of contemporary photography, and help the Garfield center kick off its fall season. The photo festivities include drinks from Two Frays Brewery and bites from Baby Loves Tacos. Featuring 100 cool pieces, the Auction Preview Exhibition is on view until the big event on October 22. Buy tickets.

Friday, Sept. 2-Sunday, Sept. 4: Pittsburgh Soul Food Festival in Market Square
11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Get a soulful taste of the Burgh all weekend long at this culinary festival. Celebrating the region’s rich history of culinary, butchery and Black food businesses, the free event showcases 50-plus small business vendors and food service proprietors. The irresistible lineup includes favorite dishes from Unique, African Cuisine, Cuddy’s Soul Food, Leon’s Caribbean, Very Vendi and Early Mae Bakery. Additional highlights include a BBQ contest, cultural activities, craft vendors and a Kids Fun Zone. The stage is packed with live music by Chantal Joseph Band, Royce, Rodney McCoy, Pittsburgh Jazz All-Stars, Soul Radio Band and more.

Venture Outdoors
Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

Friday, Sept. 2: Kayak Pittsburgh Happy Hour in Sharpsburg
5-7 p.m.
Why spend happy hour in a bar when you can pre-game happy hour on the Allegheny River?! Shut down those devices and hit the water. Venture Outdoors will provide the gear and a brief paddle orientation to get you started. Paddlers can explore Six Mile Island and the 62nd Street Bridge, watch wildlife emerge as magic hour unfolds and connect with fellow kayakers. After all that paddling, head to Dancing Gnome Brewery to quench your thirst and fuel up with the Soul Biscuits Food Truck. Buy tickets.

Friday, Sept. 2-Sunday, Sept. 4: Summer Events at The Backyard
Various times
This weekend, the city’s communal backyard hosts free concerts by Libertoca, CEE Brown, Sunset Sounds, La Ti Do Productions and SpinCycle. Backyarders can also try dance steps with Salsa Pittsburgh and unwind during yoga sessions. The kiddos can join Miss Cassidy Creates for hands-on activities. Don’t miss the opportunity to snap a selfie in front of the towering inflatable sculpture, “Pyramid XL,” created by French artist Cyril Lancelin.

Friday, Sept. 2: Music on the Mon at SouthSide Works
6-10 p.m.
Undergoing a much-needed refresh, the South Side’s mixed-use development will be abuzz tonight with live music at the North Lot stage. Brittney Chantele will perform their new album, “Speaking With Swords,” live for the first time. Also performing will be Halloway Williams and Arie Cole. Food and beverage purveyors at the free event include Chameleon Concessions, Levity Brewing and Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila.

Friday, Sept. 2: Gene the Werewolf in South Park
7:30 p.m.
Kick off Labor Day Weekend at the final South Park edition of the free Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. Local rockets and Gene the Werewolf and The Ghost Club will make for a fitting pairing for live music under the late summer skies. Skip dinner because local food trucks, Black Dog Winery and Hop Farm Brewing Co. will be slinging their goodies.

Photo courtesy of P3R.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Steelers Run and Walk on the North Shore
8 a.m.
Football fans are ready to lace up, wave their Terrible Towels and kick off the 2022 season at this 34th annual Labor Day Weekend tradition. With a 3.1-mile course highlighted by an exhilarating finish on the Acrisure Stadium warning track — plus a fitness walk, kids’ fun run and virtual option — there’s a way for every member of Steelers Nation to show Black and Gold pride. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris is this year’s honorary captain. Proceeds benefit the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund and Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research. Register now.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Birding Tour on the Rivers of Steel Explorer Boat
8-11:30 a.m.
Bird-watching in the woods is awesome but bird-watching from a boat is even better. Join National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill and the Rivers of Steel Explorer boat captain for an avian adventure like no other. Learn pro tips for identifying birds like cormorants, eagles, herons and mergansers on this morning cruise along Pittsburgh’s scenic rivers. Participants can bring a brown bag lunch and non-alcoholic beverages and board at One Allegheny Avenue. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival.

Saturday, Sept. 3 through Sunday, Sept. 4: Children’s Weekend at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Spend Labor Day Weekend with your kin in the 16th-century. The next three days are dedicated to young lads and lasses, with children ages 12 and up enjoying free admission. Special activities include prince, princess and pirate costume contests, the Royal Quest, knighting ceremonies and photos with the king and queen. The faire wee ones will love the medieval rides and games of skill. Bonus: It’s also union and labor appreciation weekend! Buy tickets.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Party at Wilpen Hall
4:30-7 p.m.
Opera lovers are invited to meet the brand new class of 2022-23 Resident Artists arriving in Pittsburgh. Join the Friends of Pittsburgh Opera at the Gilded Age estate in Sewickley Heights for a welcome fête hosted by Richard LeBeau and Dr. Michael White. Buy tickets.

Water Lantern Festival
Photo courtesy of the Water Lantern Festival.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Water Lantern Festival at Allegheny Commons Park West
5 p.m.
What messages of hope, love, happiness, healing or peace do you have as we prepare to transition summer to fall? Watch your lantern float onto the night water as it joins others and experience the magic of thousands of floating glowing messages. Choose from several ticketing options that undue perks such as a floating lantern kit, marker, a scavenger hunt giveaway, a mandala throw, a drawstring bag and more.

Patricia Bellan-Gillen
Artwork by Patricia Bellan-Gillen at Zynka Gallery.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Patricia Bellan-Gillen Exhibition Opening at Zynka Gallery
5-8 p.m.
Don’t miss tonight’s free opening reception featuring a new series of works by a veteran Western Pennsylvania artist. Patricia Bellan-Gillen, who recently retired after 29 years as a professor at CMU, has been featured in more than 50 solo exhibitions. At the Sharpsburg gallery, visitors will encounter the artist’s mixed media works, which explore personal narratives, fairytales, historical events, nostalgia, fact and fiction, sacred imagery, iconic characters from children’s books, the internet, memory and more.

Photo courtesy of Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation.

Sunday, Sept. 4: Race to Beat Women’s Cancers in North Park
6 a.m.-12 p.m.
Whether you run or walk, you can take a step to support women’s cancer research and patient care at this second annual community event. Teaming up to host the 5K are A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. Honoring people affected by breast, ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancers, the welcoming morning also includes a warm-up sessions, opening remarks, a March of Hope and an award ceremony. Register now.

Pink Talking Fish
Pink Talking Fish. Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook page.
Pink Talking Fish. Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook page.

Sunday, Sept. 4: Allegheny County Music Festival at Hartwood Acres
5:30 p.m.
After entertaining crowds all summer long at Hartwood Acres and South Park, the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series will go out on a high note. Headlining act Pink Talking Fish will show listeners what it sounds like when you “combine Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish into one live experience.” Joining the jam band extravaganza will be Dogs In A Pile from New Jersey and Pittsburgh’s own theCAUSE. Summer’s culminating event is not only a showcase of live music, but also a chance for fans to give back. A suggested donation of $20 per car, along with a 50/50 raffle, will benefit the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund, which support children and youth receiving services through the Department of Human Services and the Juvenile Section of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. Food trucks, Black Dog Winery and Hop Farm Brewing Company will rev up their engines starting at 5 p.m.

For more things to do, read 13 hottest Pittsburgh events in August, from Barrel & Flow to Party at the Pier. For live music, check out 19 best concerts in Pittsburgh this August, from Thundercat to Matmos. For family events, see 10 best August events for fun-loving kids in Pittsburgh.

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.