Venture Outdoors
Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

We’ve been waiting 14 months to publish this feature guide consisting entirely of in-person events. It’s even more exciting that June is typically one of the region’s most vibrant event months, and signals the start of the long-awaited outdoor activity season.

Narrowing our list down to 10 in-person events we think our readers should attend was nearly impossible — and we consider that to be a good sign of things to come. That’s why we’ll be previewing everything else not to miss in our revamped Things to Do guide each week.

You won’t need a Zoom log-in for these top 10 June events, but don’t forget your mask. From Downtown to Oakland to Homewood, we can’t wait to see you out there.

FKT, Brice Ferré. Photo courtesy of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour.

1. Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Carrie Blast Furnaces: June 2, 4 & 5

Never heard of abseiling, snow-surfing or freeriding? You’re not alone. Drive-in movie-going meets extreme adventuring when this beloved film fest makes a much-anticipated stop in Swissvale. Cheer on five Bolivian women as they trek to the highest peak in the Americas, watch Jeanelle Hazlett attempt to establish a record atop Canada’s Mount Brunswick, and find out what happens to an explorer who’s marooned on a desolate planet. With the remnants of a steelmaking giant as your backdrop, you’ll experience spine-tingling human feats from around the globe without leaving the Burgh. Tickets are going fast so don’t delay.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Earth Day.

2. Go Green in Market Square: June 4 & 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Listen, shop and eat local on World Environment Day when Market Square transforms into a hub of sustainability with a Burgh twist. Peruse ethically made goods and pop into eco-friendly activity booths to explore electric transportation, wellness and green businesses. The live music kicks off Friday with six local acts, including the Deryck Tines Choir, Bindley Hardware Company and The Clarks’ Scott Blasey. Head back Saturday for performances by Elias Khouri, the Nox Boys, Clinton Clegg Trio and more. The free festival includes a Sustainable Business Breakfast at the Fairmont and activities for the kiddos in the Growing Up Green corner.

3. Pittsburgh Pride: June 4-6 at multiple locations

The new face of Pittsburgh Pride aims to make the iconic celebration an “inclusive and safe space” for the entire LGBTQ+ community.” Co-producers TransYouniting and the Pittsburgh Pride Group say it’s “the first Pride thrown in collaboration between LGBTQ+ organizations across Pittsburgh and western PA.” Pride 2021 kicks off Friday with a drag dinner soiree. The Pride Revolution March (register here) on June 5 starts at noon at the City-County Building and the day includes a mini-fest with live music. Channel your inner Dr. Frank-N-Furter at the Rocky Horror Show singalong in West Park and head to Tarentum’s Manos Gallery for the Art Equality exhibition. Sunday’s festivities at Trace Brewing feature brunch, drag queen storytimes, DJs and food trucks. Don’t miss the after-parties at P-Town and Blue Moon. For virtual Pride events, be sure to join SisTers PGH for People’s Pride PGH happening June 18-20. And check NEXTpittsburgh for more Pride events all month.

Celisse performs June 4 at TRAF’s Dollar Bank Main Stage at Point State Park.
Celisse performs June 4 at TRAF’s Dollar Bank Main Stage at Point State Park.

4. Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival: June 4-13, 12-8 p.m.

The return of TRAF to Point State Park carries great significance after a year of darkened theaters, shuttered galleries and canceled events. These 10 days of free art signify the unofficial start of summer at a time when Downtown really needs a boost. Point State Park will again pulsate with live music by headliners such as Celisse, Bassel and the Supernaturals, Son Little and more. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust galleries will reopen to present art exhibitions, and in-person activities will return, including public art installations, Story Corners and the Creativity Zone. TRAF’s signature Artist Market will showcase 150 artists on-site at four distinct locations along with 200 makers online. Exciting new additions include performances at the Allegheny Overlook Pop-Up Park and a street mural by Janel Young. The 62nd annual event will also feature concession stands and food vendors and hybrid virtual events for art lovers who can’t attend in person. View a schedule.

Photo courtesy of Allegheny County.

5. Summer Concert Series in Allegheny County Parks: June 4-27, 7:30 p.m.

The return of Allegheny County’s in-person Summer Concert Series is music to our ears after a yearlong hiatus. Performances will occur at South Park every Friday and at Hartwood Acres every Sunday. The sounds kick off June 4 at South Park with Pittsburgh Opera and on June 6 at Hartwood featuring the local reggae band, Truth & Rites. Summer highlights include The Jayhawks, Berlin, Indigo Girls, The Lone Bellow and Spyro Gyra. Helping to create a festival-like vibe will be craft beer from Hop Farm Brewing and a rotating lineup of food trucks, like BRGR, Hoshi Pittsburgh and Wood Fired Flatbreads. View a schedule.

Photo courtesy of Quantum Theatre. Artwork by BOOM Creative.

6. Quantum Theatre’s The Current War in Westinghouse Park: June 4-27, 8 p.m.

 It’s fitting that a site-specific company that’s staged productions in a cemetery, an abandoned industrial site and even an empty pool would make its triumphant return to live performance in a public park. For its first in-person show since November 2019, Quantum is producing a world premiere with a fascinating local connection, and a cast and setting reflecting Pittsburgh’s “multi-racial tapestry.” Directed by Tomé Cousin, “The Current War” chronicles the rivalry between Thomas Edison and Pittsburgh’s own George Westinghouse. Michael Mitnick’s script was the basis of the 2017 film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s never been seen in its original form. Buy tickets. 

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

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...