What’s going on over Labor Day Weekend in Pittsburgh, Sept.1-4? Find out here. Know of a cool event? Email us.
Friday, Sept. 1-Sunday, Sept. 3: Pittsburgh Soul Food Fest in Market Square
11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Savor a “soulful taste of the Burgh” — quite literally. Making mouths water, local and national food purveyors turn Downtown into a showcase of traditional American soul food and ethnic cuisine, with programming in Market Square, PPG Plaza and part of the Boulevard of the Allies. Honoring African-American food pioneers while highlighting today’s top culinary entrepreneurs, the fest turns up the heat with a tribute to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop featuring Miami rap icon Trina. The soul sensation continues all weekend with music, cultural activities and vendors. Not to miss are the BBQ and mac and cheese competitions. Schedule.
Friday, Sept. 1: Summer Fridays at The Frick Pittsburgh
Spread out a blanket and set up a picnic for a night of music and museum fun at magic hour. The explosive funk, blues, hip-hop and soul of Byron Nash’s NASH.V.ILL band will heat up the festivities. Grab dinner from the food truck area and drop off a donation at the Farina Foundation Musical Instrument Drive table. While there, don’t miss the exhibition, Pittsburgh and the Great Migration, at the Car and Carriage Museum, which is open until 9 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 1-Sunday, Sept. 3: Pittsburgh New Works Festival at Duquesne University’s Genesius Theater
8 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Be the first to see world premieres of three one-act plays by local companies during this 32nd annual festival. Featured works are Dana Hall’s “Lucid, produced by Iron Horse Theatre Company; Nick Rafello’s “Frank & Frannie, With Love,” produced by The Theatre Factory; and Amy V. Morse’s “My Top 5,” produced by Pittsburgh’s own Prime Stage Theatre. Works were selected from 200-plus national entires. Schedule and tickets.
Saturday, Sept. 2 & Sunday, Sept. 3: “Cleopatra and Antony” in Frick Park
Politics, passion and power collide in this timeless tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra — make that Cleopatra and Antony! Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks kicks off its 19th outdoor season with a Shakespearean twist — putting one of the Bard’s most complex female characters front and center. Be teleported to the dawn of the Roman Empire in this “fierce, all-female production with music, dance, soul-lifting fun and tragic grandeur.” Schedule.
Saturday, Sept. 2: Art in the Park in Dormont Park
Hop on the T and head to Golden Mountain where art, music and community will converge outdoors for this free festival. Along the park’s tranquil tree-lined path, nonprofits will host creative booths and arts vendors will sell original work. Bring your instrument to the Annapolis Pavilion from 3 to 5 p.m. to join a traditional bluegrass jam circle led by John and Wendy Mackin. The event also features performances by Landline Bluegrass and The Shameless Hex.
Monday, Sept. 4: Britsburgh Festival in Pittsburgh
The British are coming (back) for 10 absolutely smashing events spanning seven days all around town — and several are free. Attach a fancy fascinator to kick things off at The Mansions on Fifth during a royal afternoon tea. Become a bona fide Anglophile as you sip the latest Britsburgh Ale release and test your trivia during a pub quiz. Go behind the curtain with the Pittsburgh Savoyards, New Renaissance Theatre and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, explore a century of BBC programming and spend a spooky evening with bestselling mystery writer Ann Cleeves. Schedule and tickets.
Friday, Sept. 1-Monday, Sept. 4: Kickoff and Rib Festival at Acrisure Stadium
Fill your Labor Day Weekend plate — and palate — with mouth-watering, stick-to-your-ribs, well … ribs while ushering in the football season. Kicking off early this year, the Burgh tradition is underway on the North Shore. While devouring all the ribs, festival-goers can attend street parties, pop into the Steelers Pro Shop and Pittsburgh Knights Gaming Zone, and rock out with local bands. A new must-see attraction is the premiere of Squonk’s immersive show, “Brouhaha,” before it hits the road on tour. Schedule.
Monday, Sept. 4: Labor Day Parade in Downtown Pittsburgh
Start your holiday by honoring the U.S. labor movement at one of the country’s largest and oldest Labor Day parades. Join SAG-AFTRA members when the Ohio-Pittsburgh local celebrates its 39th year. The route follows Centre Avenue to Grant Street down the Boulevard of the Allies. The review stand and parade finish are located in front of the iconic Steelworkers at 60 Boulevard of the Allies.
Monday, Sept. 4: Steelers Run and Walk at Acrisure Stadium
Football fanatics are itching to twirl their Terrible Towels and kick off the 2023 season. The best way to get fired up is by joining the 35th annual race featuring a 3.1-mile level course along the North Shore and a thrilling finish on the Acrisure Stadium warning track. Steelers legend Aaron Smith is chairperson and proceeds benefit the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund and the Chuck Noll Foundation. All participants receive a performance T-shirt, medal and a goody bag and there’s also a Kids Fun Run for the city’s youngest Steelers fans. Register.
Monday, Sept. 4: Pooches in the Pool and Dormont Doggie Dip
4-6:30 p.m. & 4-7:30 p.m.
The only consolation on the saddest day of the year — when pools close for summer — is that our four-legged besties get to jump right in after us. Step aside and towel off humans, it’s time for pooches to rule the pools. This Labor Day tradition invites the region’s fur babies to cool off in county pools from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Boyce Park, North Park, Settlers Cabin Park and South Park. Register. Over in Pennsylvania’s largest pool, the Dormont Doggie Dip allows pups to make a splash from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Register.
Find more things to do in Pittsburgh, including outdoor recreation, farmers’ markets music festivals, movies and family activities.