Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Is the Arts Festival Cursed with Rain? You Decide.

With the start of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburghers are asking the annual question: Is it going to rain at the festival again this year?




Photo courtesy pittsburgh cultural trust

 

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is celebrating its 60th year, and while the festivities attract more than 500,000 visitors each year, it always seems to bring rainy weather along, too. But is this rainy weather stigma true?

For the past three years, there have been scattered showers and a couple thunderstorms during the Arts Festival, according to the National Weather Service. However, these periods of rain have typically occurred in the first half of the festival, while the remainder experienced beautiful weather.

“I think it’s a myth,” says Chuck Beard, art director at Pittsburgh Magazine. “This is my sixth year as a vendor at the festival, and I’ve never had a major problem with the rain.” According to Beard, the wind is actually much worse than the rain because vendors’ products may blow away or get damaged, such as he experienced five years ago when a piece valued at $600 was damaged by the wind.

Katie Koenig, a local artist and vendor at the festival, remembered that same storm five years ago, during her first experience as a vendor.
 


photo by dave dicello

 

“During tear down, we had a severe thunderstorm warning along with warnings of flash flooding and a tornado,” said Koenig. “My husband held both the corner of my tent and my neighbor’s tent to keep them from blowing away. I was really lucky that nothing was damaged, but I know a lot of artists lost their displays or work due to the storm.”

While the rain and wind were detrimental for some artists and vendors, painter Mike Schiavone finds that inclement weather can have some perks, too. “My tent is fancy and pretty much waterproof, so I always invite attendees to shelter in my tent when the rain is heavy, which is always fun! It turns into a little party!”

This year, it looks like there will be scattered showers in the beginning of the Arts Festival, according to meteorologist Shannon Hefferan at the National Weather Service. “There will be periods in the day where it will be nice, don’t get me wrong, but that first week of the festival is predicted to be kind of wet, raining off and on, with the low-pressure system lingering.”

As for whether the festival’s rainy reputation is deserved, that’s up to you to decide.

“I believe that it does rain every year during the festival, but that the belief has become more of a myth. With a 10-day festival in Pittsburgh, we are bound to get rain at some point,” said Koenig.

“Our severe weather period is from May until July, so the festival falls in the middle of when we typically experience severe storms and that type of weather,” said Hefferan. “That being said, I won’t say no to the rain theory.”

With Pittsburgh’s ever-so-loved unpredictable weather, though, the forecast will most likely change, according to Hefferan. Who knows? Most of the festival could happen under clear and sunny skies.

Click here for daily updates from the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

PM on KD: Sean Collier Guest Hosts for the Day

PM associate editor Sean Collier appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live as a guest host to fill in for Heather Abraham. He shared some details about our latest special edition: City Guide.

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says corned beef inside an import business, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

How to Celebrate the Moon Landing Anniversary in Pittsburgh

To celebrate Apollo 11’s golden anniversary, several local events are set to take place, from film screenings to new exhibits and more.

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Pop Culture Pop Up Bars Are Here to Stay

Nintendo-themed Level Up is in Market Square for another week, but if you miss it, you can catch the Pokémon-themed bar coming this fall.

How Scary is the New Steel Curtain Coaster at Kennywood?

The ride claims records for the world’s tallest looping coaster and tallest inversion; it also has more inversions than any coaster in North America. We rode it this morning. Here's what we have to say.

The 400-Word Review: Point Blank

Netflix's action thriller is forgettable, but serves well as a quick throwback.

Pittsburgh Marks the First Stop of the New Whiskey Rebellion Trail

Think the story of American whiskey begins in Kentucky? Think again.

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

The 400-Word Review: Stuber

There are laughs in the new buddy comedy, but they're dragged down by bad decisions.