Top 10

The 10 best things to do in May.




PyroFest

May 24
Any city can toss a few screamers in the air after a baseball game, but only Pittsburgh could produce PyroFest. Billed as “America’s Largest Fireworks Festival,” the event includes a daytime smoke-shell salute to the troops, an amateurs contest and three professional displays culminating in the world premiere of a “never-before-seen pyro musical” from New Castle-based pioneers Pyrotecnico, the geniuses behind fireworks tributes to rock ‘n’ roll.

>> Hartwood Acres, 2914 Middle Road, Allison Park; 800/854-4705, pyrofest.com

— Eric Lidji; photo by Rocco Vitale

 


“XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness”

Through Aug. 31
Fred Rogers once said, “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” To that end, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh created “XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness,” with support from the Fetzer Institute. It enables families to explore topics through simple activities, such as using building blocks printed with facial expressions.

>> 10 Children’s Way, North Side; 412/322-5058, pittsburghkids.org

 


A Gathering of Authors

May 3
Word Association Publishers, a Tarentum-based self-publishing house, has been reviving the printed page recently with A Gathering of Authors. The brainchild of writer-publicist duo Bill and Linda Davis, the event series attracts local authors to public libraries, where they discuss and sign their works. Between them, the 17 authors participating in the next installment, to be held at the Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie Library, have written a Pittsburgh history of the Civil War, a memoir about late OxyClean pitchman Billy Mays and mystery, self-help and crime works.

>> 5801 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill; 800/827-7903, wordassociation.com

 

Start Something Golf Classic

May 4-5
Big Brothers Big Sisters is all about one-to-one relationships, which means it must find and train enough volunteers for local adolescents in need of mentors. The agency last year raised $56,000 through its annual Start Something Golf Classic. This year, funds from the weekend golf tournament, cocktail hour and dinner at the Laurel Valley Golf Club will go toward efforts to find mentors for 200-some local children on the wait-list.

>> 175 Palmer Drive, Ligonier; 412/363-6100, bbbspgh.org

 


Chelsea Handler

May 10
Asked to invite three writers to an imaginary party, comedian and late-night host Chelsea Handler chose Hemingway, Steinbeck, S.J. Perelman — and the Kardashians. “You said three writers,” she told the New York Times in an interview. “You didn’t say anything about the other guests.” Unfiltered, irreverent and smarter than she admits, Handler recently published a fish-out-of-water travelogue, “Uganda Be Kidding Me.” She’ll tell its wilder tales at Consol Energy Center.

>> 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com

 


The BlackStar Film Festival

May 10
The BlackStar Film Festival began in August 2012 in Philadelphia as a way of giving talented filmmakers a forum to tell untold stories about the global black experience. The event doubled in size its second year and now is robust enough to travel. First stop: Pittsburgh. The one-day festival will feature panels and discussions, affording audiences and artists an opportunity to interact.

>> Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty; 412/363-3000, kelly-strayhorn.org

 

“Big-Eyed Cuties” Exhibit

May 14-18
The “big-eye” illustrations of the 1960s had a brief but fascinating moment in commercial art. Although kitschy in retrospect, the paintings of children and animals with oversized eyes prefigured both anime and Zooey Deschanel. Shaw Galleries, a downtown emporium of antique prints and maps, is hosting the “Big-Eyed Cuties” exhibit, featuring many masters of the form — Nelly Dax, Eden, Georgette Nivert, Igor Pantuhoff and Audrey Dallas-Simpson (whose work is pictured).

>> 805 Liberty Ave., downtown; 412/281-4884, shawgalleries.com

 


Ambridge Nationality Days

May 16-18
The city of Ambridge created the Ambridge Nationality Days in 1965 to celebrate its rich, varied immigrant heritage. The yearly springtime festival of ethnic culture now is approaching its golden anniversary. While events change from year to year, the largest and longest-running festival in Beaver County continues to offer crafts, performances and global cuisine — much of it cooked by the same churches and organizations that started the event.

>> Merchant Street at 4th Street, Ambridge; 724/266-3040, ambridgechamberofcommerce.com

 

National Road Festival

May 16-18
The National Road was our first federally funded highway. It stretches 600 miles from Cumberland, Md., to Vandalia, Ill., and the section through southwestern Pennsylvania zigzags across American history, from Fort Necessity to the Flatiron Building to Fallingwater. Every spring since the early 1970s, the National Road Heritage Corridor has helped to host the National Road Festival, a transient gala held simultaneously in towns along the road, including Washington, Uniontown and Brownsville.

>> 724/437-9877, nationalroadpa.org

 


Il Divo

May 18
It’s hard to believe Il Divo went a decade without tackling Broadway. The international foursome spent time on the road with Barbra Streisand before selling 26 million albums of pop standards infused with operatic drama. Their new album, “A Musical Affair,” offers full-throated renditions of heartfelt hits including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” as well as a duet with Streisand. Their tour will stop at the Benedum Center.

>> 237 Seventh St., downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org


Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.

The 412

5 Pittsburgh Bands You Need to Know

5 Pittsburgh Bands You Need to Know

Fancy yourself a music snob? Brush up with our list of local musicians who might be flying under the radar.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pittsburgh's Polo Scene

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pittsburgh's Polo Scene

(Yes, there's a polo scene.)
A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

Hundreds of years after Johannes Kepler presented a theory on how to best stack spherical objects, Pitt reps confirm that the German mathematician was correct.
Next Month, the City of Pittsburgh Will Turn Into the Best Gym Class Ever

Next Month, the City of Pittsburgh Will Turn Into the Best Gym Class Ever

Act like a kid again at the City of Play Best Games Fest.

Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.
6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

PittGirl's at it again — this time with a list of a half-dozen fun facts you'll want to mention at your next cocktail party.
'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

We pick the perfect neighborhood for six breeds of ’Burgher.