Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark

September 5
Noon – 5 p.m.

If you have a budding glass artist, welder or blacksmith on your hands—or would like to experience the magical alchemy of fire arts together as a family—then head to Rankin this Saturday for the first-of-its-kind Festival of Combustion.

Nathan J Shaulis / Porter Loves Photography.

Steel production at the Carrie Furnaces may have halted in 1982 but the molten metal return on Saturday, September 5th. Reborn as National Historic Landmark, the storied plant will host the unique family-friendly festival from noon to 5 p.m. Teaming up to present the event’s inaugural installment—which is free for kids under 18—are the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, the Detroit-based nonprofit Carbon Arts, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Ton Pottery and the Mobile Sculpture Workshop.

Visitors of all ages are invited to participate in a variety of hot art happening while getting a behind-the-scenes look at these icons of industry and their sprawling grounds. Design your own glass mosaic, fire your own ceramic vase, watch in awe as skilled makers cast molten lava and see live welding and metal fabrication demonstrations right before your very eyes. Learn about all of these historic processes that are part of our region’s legacy at the Carrie Furnaces—where over 1,250 tons of molten metal was poured daily!

Providing the day’s electric soundtrack will be Pittsburgh-based rockabilly band, The Bessemers. Festival-goers can fuel up with hot-themed local food vendors including Iron Oven Catering Wings and a Prayer, and then cool down with delicious icy treats from The Pop Shop and refreshing libations from The Brew Gentlemen.

Added bonus? Kids under age 18 are free. The $15 admission fee for adults includes one hands-on workshop or a tour of the historic Carrie Furnaces.

For some fun at the Carrie Furnaces for the 21 and up crowd, be sure to check out Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area’s special Hard Hat Ball taking place at the site on Friday, September 18th.

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...