The circus kicks into gear at 9 p.m. for a main event featuring desserts and cocktails galore, festive games, sideshow acts and carnivalesque feats. Appearing under the Big Top will be DJ Pandemic, the Trundle Manor Creepshow, Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band and Bombyx Collective aerialists. Make the rounds as you play arcade games, belt it out during karaoke and apply colorful body art.
4. Silk Screen Film Festival: July 10 – 19
For the past decade, one grassroots cultural org has been putting Pittsburgh on the map in terms of Asian cinema. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Silk Screen Film Festival is presenting 30 feature films and eight shorts at Regent Square Theater and Melwood Screening Room. The only event of its kind in the region, the festival showcases Asian and Asian American art, life, society and history via films representing diverse countries and cultures around the globe—from Japan and Jordan, to India and the Philippines. Augmenting the films are engaging Q&As with directors, actors and industry experts, sneak previews and post-show parties.
Don’t miss opening night featuring Naji Abu Nowar’s award-winning film, Theeb. Viewers will be transported to the year 1916 to meet Theeb (Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat) and his older brother Hussein, members of a Bedouin tribe during a period of drastic upheaval. Set in the Arabian Desert, the engaging classic adventure explores human survival, familial bonds and Bedouin customs.
The festival’s centerpiece is Pakistan’s official entry to the 87th Academy Awards, Dukhtar, which means “daughter” in Urdu. Directed by Afia Nathaniel, the visually stunning thriller documents the peril faced by women and girls living in tribal societies in Pakinstan’s mountainous villages. A favorite at the Toronto Film Festival, the gripping tale follows former child bride Allah Rakhi who runs away with her daughter to escape a rival tribe leader. Silk Screen wraps up on a lighthearted note with Ravi Kapoor’s comedy Miss India America starring Tiya Sircar, Hannah Simone and Meera Simhan.
Want to walk the red carpet? Don’t miss the always festive kick-off gala on July 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Carlow University, where movie buffs will mingle with visiting dignitaries, local cinema celebs and Silk Screen staff while enjoying live entertainment and tasty ethnic cuisine. View a complete festival schedule and purchase tickets.
5. Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix: July 10 – 19
If you love vintage motor sports car racing—or if you’re a car, truck and speed buff—you don’t want to miss the 33rd annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP). What began as a single day race in Schenley Park in 1983, has transformed into a 10-day celebration spanning six venues, two counties and a love of all things on four wheels. Highlights include the 12th annual PVGP Historics at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Walnut St. car show in Shadyside, car cruise at The Waterfront, Downtown parade and car display, scenic countryside tour through the Laurel Highlands, tune-up party at Atria’s and a benefit concert at the Hard Rock Cafe.
The excitement will really rev up when the starting flag drops at the highly anticipated Race Weekend on July 18 and 19 in Schenley Park. The only vintage race event run on actual city streets and the largest vintage race event in the U.S., Race Weekend attracts 200,000-plus spectators for a dramatic course throughout this beautiful urban greenspace. Some 150 vintage racers will test their skills and dazzle crowds, through what is considered by many drivers to be the world’s most challenging race course. The 2.33-mile circuit includes 23 turns, along with haybales, manhole covers, phone poles and stone walls.
Race Weekend also features a slew of related activities, including an International Car Show, British Car Day, Vintage Races, Opening Ceremonies, a parade and qualifying races. A favorite spot to watch is the 456-acre Bob O’Connor Golf Course where the PVGP stages its International Car Show. There is no cost for spectators, but the PVGP encourages donations, with all proceeds benefiting charities.
6. Deutschtown Music Festival on the Northside: July 11
125 Bands, 24 stages, 16 venues, 12 hours (and counting). The Northside rocks and the best time to see why is at the Deutschtown Music Festival. Bringing its third annual installment to the historic neighborhood, the free daylong festival has become one of the city’s largest local music events. With music spanning six outdoor stages, 14 indoor venues and every genre under the summer sun, this homegrown fest truly has a sound for all ears.