Spirit Hall
March 18
7 p.m.

Pittsburgh is about to celebrate a massive milestone, and you’re invited to party all year long. But first, pre-game it all at this Friday’s “Happy Burgh-Day, Pittsburgh” event—aka the Badass Bicentennial Bash—at Spirit Hall.

Courtesy Pete Spynda
Courtesy Pete Spynda

A 200th birthday only rolls around once, and who better than the creative folks behind Pittonkatonk, Weather Permitting and Pgh Abides to help mark the occasion?

Celebrating our city’s date of incorporation—March 12, 1816—playfully predicting the future and paying homage to all things Burgh, the interactive and immersive festivities will transform the spacious Lawrenceville club into fave nabes such as Mt. Washington and Downtown, where 412 fans can visit iconic landmarks without ever leaving the building.

Ready to party like it’s 1816?

Once there, attendees will receive a nametag indicating their role for the night. Think: Mayor, Google employee, Andy Warhol, Andrew Carnegie, Myron Cope, bus driver, mill worker, Naomi Sims. Just imagine, you might be charged with controlling whether busses will run on time, if streets will be plowed, if gentrification will take over your neighborhood and more.

Courtesy Pgh Abides
Courtesy Pgh Abides

Compete in a Whiskey Rebellion obstacle course, receive unsolicited advice from Nebby Nana and take a selfie with the Second String Pierogies (Pittsburgh-famous for their unofficial PNC Park antics). Write messages to a Pittsburgh of the future, channel your inner Franco Harris as you reenact the Immaculate Reception and check out art installations by Alternate Histories and Projectile Objects.

View cool, rare film footage from the Orgone Archive, including outtakes from Dawn of the Dead and I’m Inclined, see historical relics and learn the story behind the city’s first mythical parking chair. Compete in Jeopardy-style trivia hosted by artist Alexi Morrissey, savor Penn Brewery’s 30th anniversary Pothole Pale Ale and nosh on special late-night bar fare crafted by Spirit and Slice Island.

Adding to all of the revelry will be Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band—who will lead the city’s shortest parade—and DJ Miss Mungo, who will spin golden oldies and rocking tunes from Pittsburgh’s past and present.

All of this and more for the bargain admission price of $5. Open to ages 21+.

Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in March feature.

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.