A Celebration of Art, Culture, and Pittsburgh Pride

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival proves to be a hit this year, with a mix of Pittsburgh spirit, art — and, for once, good weather.



The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is back and boasts a brand new blueprint that offers more space, more freedom and an even bigger celebration of the arts than years past.

The first weekend of the annual festival saw massive crowds Downtown, as the Arts Fest coincided with a Pirates homestand (the Bucs will be home for nine of the 10 days of the festival) and Pittsburgh Pride Revolution. And, after many gloomy years during the event, beautiful weather returned — and should stick around through much of the festival. 

While the festival draws plenty of patrons looking to stock up on one-of-a-kind artwork — and more eager to simply explore Pittsburgh — whether or not you’re looking to spend, you don’t have to leave the festival empty handed.

With ten days of free music lined up, you can enjoy the experience without spending a dime. Visit StateFarm’s “Bobblehead You” booth to create your own personalized — and free —  bobblehead. You can also grab a free tote bag from their friendly staff and enjoy delicious free fruit from the Zespri booth. 

This year marks new beginnings for the Arts Festival — not only for the weather, but the location. After last year’s much-discussed move away from Point State Park, the festival’s main drag was for 2023 relocated from Ninth and Penn to Stanwix and Fort Duquesne Boulevard.


Although the announcement of a new location sparked controversy, the revamped layout has so far proved to be a pleasant surprise. The new venue offers ample space for artists and visitors and has allowed the duration of the festival to span ten days instead of just seven.

Visitors Andrea Bennett, Fuchsia Brockman, and Selena Rossi say the setup is easy to navigate. “We were scared we would be hopping around and missing artists, like last year,” Rossi says. The three locals come to the festival every year and were happy to see the layout was much less scattered than years prior. 

The returning visitors were thrilled to see their favorite artist, Baron Batch, make a return at the festival. The former Steelers player is a hit at this year’s festival, with several visitors coming out to support his work. Madison Schick, a visitor from West Middlesex, loves to see Batch’s work each year. “Baron Batch is a kind soul who everyone in Pittsburgh can connect with … he will put his art all over the city for free and you have to go on a scavenger [hunt] to find it.” 

Visitors aren’t the only ones who are satisfied with this year’s turnout. John Boyett, owner of Canton Glass Works, is thrilled with this year’s festival. Boyett, an eighth-year returning artist from Canton, Ohio, noted that the new layout is perfect for his business, which relies on revenue generated from these types of events. His glass works are a hit with visitors — especially the glass Penguins.

Festivals and art shows are the primary source of revenue for many artists, including Marcy Bates. Bates’ business, Recycled Reads, has been thriving at festivals and shows for years. While her website gains attention during gift-giving season, her art “sells out” at shows and festivals and has been a huge hit at the Three Rivers Arts Festival for seven years now. 

Her business began after the bookstore she worked at closed down and she inherited thousands of leftover books. She began using them as a medium for her art by folding words, letters, and symbols into the pages. From that, she created a unique form of art that attracts many passersby with its unique look.

With the festival being “intertwined throughout the city,” Schick says, “it gives more opportunity for tourists to explore restaurants and parts of the city they may have never seen before.”

Categories: The 412