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

Transit May Improve Thanks to New Technology

Public transit users may luck out if Port Authority’s wristband ticketing service experiment goes well.

The 400-Word Review: Toy Story 4

Pixar's signature series comes up with an enjoyable fourth chapter. Just don't set your expectations too high.

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

We say hello to three new Galley Group concepts, plus Con Alma, Over Eden and Inner Groove Brewing.

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

After her cookie table bridges proved to be a hit at her own wedding, a Pittsburgh bride has taken her idea to the next level.

All You Need to Know About Fireworks in Pennsylvania

With new state fireworks laws in place, Pennsylvanians will get a little more freedom to celebrate this Fourth of July.

July 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

What We're Reading in July: The Pioneers

The Pioneers is historian and Point Breeze native David McCullough’s retelling of the settlement of the wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, which contained the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Perspectives: On Caring to See

A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh learns a lesson about street medicine.

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

This Brit Fell in Love with Pittsburgh's Dirt

During the Civil War, a British writer was enchanted by Pittsburgh’s dirt and soot.

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.

PM on KD: Recent Restaurant Openings

PM food critic Hal B. Klein appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss recent Pittsburgh restaurant openings that have him excited.

One Person's Flip Flop is Another One's Art

Ocean Sole Africa’s mission is to reduce pollution and waste by collecting flip flops from the ocean and making them into art.