How To Make The Most Of The 2023 Picklesburgh Festival

Events start early -- July 14 -- for a full week of dill-ightful fun before Downtown's largest Picklesburgh yet.
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The No. 1 specialty food festival in America is taking over Pittsburgh with a week of pickle-themed programming leading up to the Picklesburgh festival on July 21-23.

The festival’s new location on the Boulevard of the Allies is larger than past years’ spaces and will host live entertainment, more than 50 food vendors and not one, but two, giant Heinz pickle balloons. Picklesburgh will open at noon daily, rain or shine. 

If you can’t wait until July 21 to try new pickle culinary creations, stop by any of the 17 Downtown restaurants participating in the Taste of Picklesburgh event from July 14 through July 20. Each restaurant has curated its own menu of pickle-themed food and beverages, with dishes ranging from pickle-stuffed pierogies at Sly Fox Brewing Co. to pickled wings at Forbes Tavern to pickle margaritas at The Yard

Also in the week leading up to Picklesburgh, Pittsburgh Playhouse’s Highmark Theatre will host the “Pickles and Giggles Comedy Show” on July 20 at 7:30 p.m. Two Pittsburgh born-and-raised comedians, Collin Chamberlin and Ray Zawodni, will take the stage with pickle puns and jokes that can be shared all weekend long. Tickets are $13 and are available here

If you want to prove your love of pickles to the Pittsburgh community, be sure to save time after the comedy show to train for Picklesburgh’s pickle juice drinking contest. Registration is now open for the contest, which will include preliminary rounds on July 21 and 22 and a championship on Sunday, July 23. The participant who drinks a quart-sized jar of pickle juice the fastest will be declared the winner, taking home the title “Mayor of Picklesburgh” and a $500 cash prize. 

Picklesburgh, produced by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and presented by Kraft Heinz, will stretch across the Boulevard of the Allies from Stanwix Street to Smithfield Street and extend into PPG Place. In addition to rows of food vendors, the street will be lined with local musicians. Performers include Pittsburgh stars such as Elias Khouri, a solo funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll performer, and Standard Broadcast, an indie rock band. 

New to the festival this year, Mancini’s Bakery is introducing a Picklesburgh-exclusive “PGH Roll,” a fresh-baked bread roll stuffed with pickle slices, Isaly’s Chipped Ham and shredded cheese. Guests can pair the sandwich with a Turner’s Dairy pickled iced tea, a limited-edition drink created just for Picklesburgh.

The festival will also include a “Li’l Gherkins” play area with free activities for children, such as creating pickle-themed jewelry and puppets. 

A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found here.

Categories: The 412, Things To Do