Picklesburgh: Why It’s an Even Bigger Dill This Year
Your guide to all things Picklesburgh as the fifth annual festival starts Friday.
photos by Renee Rosensteel for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Pittsburgh’s quirkiest street festival kicks off for its fifth installment Friday, and this year is going to be bigger than before.
After being voted USA Today’s No. 1 Best Specialty Food Festival in America earlier this year, Picklesburgh announced it will be doubling in size to accommodate the anticipated crowd. In previous years, the festival was held solely on the Roberto Clemente Bridge, but this year it will expand to the riverside lanes of Ft. Duquesne Boulevard.
Picklesburgh celebrates the pickle-filled history of Pittsburgh, with the help of Kraft Heinz and the Pittsburgh Pickle Co. The festival goes beyond the dill pickle and includes international dishes and artisan cocktails that feature pickled items, according to the website.
The festival isn’t just about eating pickles; there will be more than 60 vendors representing pickle-themed food, drinks and merchandise, 18 local bands performing live on the main stage, pickling demonstrations and a Lil’ Gherkins activity area for the kids. A full schedule of events can be found on the website.
Don’t miss the highly anticipated Pickle Juice Drinking Contest, where contestants will race to finish a quart of pickle juice to be crowned the Mayor of Picklesburgh. This year, 100 contestants will compete in 10 preliminary rounds on Friday and Saturday (some spaces are still available.) Those 10 winners will compete in Sunday’s championship for a $500 cash prize and the title.
This year, Kraft Heinz announced the creation of a special-edition gold pickle pin that celebrates 150 years of the hometown company. The signature pin, a symbolic collectible in Pittsburgh, will be handed out for free at the Kraft Heinz booth while supplies last. Once you pick up your pin, be sure to take a selfie with the iconic Heinz pickle balloon flying above the bridge.
The celebration begins July 26 and ends July 28, running from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the event is free; food, beverages and merchandise are available for purchase from vendors.
Picklesburgh happens rain or shine and the event is for everyone, “pickle fanatics to just pickle curious,” according to the website. It’s a Pittsburgh tradition you don’t want to miss — so grab your friends and family and head to the destination for all things pickled.