SolarFest parade

Millvale Riverfront Park

June 20
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The perfect place to kick off summer and enjoy the longest day of the year this weekend is at Saturday’s Allegheny SolarFest. Celebrating the power of the sun and raising awareness about solar energy options in western PA, the free family-friendly festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in picturesque Millvale Riverfront Park.

Allegheny SolarFest.

The unique festival will showcase the untapped potential for solar energy in the region via engaging solar demonstrations, functional solar art, live music, kids’ activities, food trucks and even a microbrew beer garden. The entire day will feature solar powered programs and activities, including live music by Ben Shannon, the Maple Tiger String Band and the Beagle Brothers, solar toy car races and an electric car show featuring Tesla, BMW i3 and Volt vehicles.

Allegheny SolarFest.

Attendees can witness human-powered water cannons, visit the Breathe Mobile, fuel up with grub from the Pgh Taco, Southside BBQ Company and Radinta’s food trucks and enjoy tasty microbrews from Millvale’s own Grist House Brewing.

More than 25 vendors will be on hand with exhibits sharing the benefits of clean, healthy energy, including solar installers, solar owners and nonprofit organizations. Interactive kids’ activities will include a climbing wall led by Venture Outdoors, face painting fun and more.

Allegheny SolarFest.

Spearheading the sun—and fun—filled day is the Solar Unified Network of Western Pennsylvania, which is a coalition of the region’s leading solar installation and development companies, support businesses, nonprofits, solar owners and advocates who are dedicated to proliferating solar energy in western PA through awareness, education and legislative support. Millvale Borough, which is co-sponsoring the festival, recently expanded its use of solar energy at the town’s library and additional buildings.

After debuting in 2014 with 800-plus enthusiastic attendees, SolarFest has expanded its programming and plans to become an annual event in Pittsburgh.

SolarFest is free and open to all ages, but registration is recommended.

Jennifer Baron

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...