Top 10

The 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh in July.

Run For Your Life
July 13

If you have a burning desire to slosh through mud pits, hurtle over wooden barriers, swing across monkey bars and run up dirt hills, you should sign up for the Ruckus Run right now. Take it from us: The Ruckus is insanely fun — in a dirty, sloppy, exhausting way. No matter how you climb a cargo net and cross the finish line, there’s a medal waiting for you at the end. The obstacle race returns to Washington, Pa., for another round of athletic challenge. It’s void of electrified wires and shooting flames, unlike Tough Mudder. Heck, there’s even a kid-friendly version for tenacious tots.

2151 N. Main St.,Washington;

I Want to Shout
July 27

Walnut Street is pretty any time of year, but no occasion is more welcoming than Jam on Walnut. The performers are loud, streets are packed and you can carry your plastic cup of beer anywhere you want. The outdoor concert occurs three times this summer, and this month’s edition features local breakouts Donora (read the band’s story on page 26) and Radio Tokyo. Rock out with thousands of other locals. 

Walnut Street, Shadyside;

Pennsylvania Deutsch
July 6-7

Don’t let the name fool you. The Deutschtown Music Festival is a whole lot more than polka and “Edelweiss.” You can hear 28 bands in North Side spots ranging from the James Street Gastropub to Max’s Allegheny Tavern, plus outdoor shows (weather permitting). This homage to some of the city’s best local music is the perfect excuse to spend a day in Deutschtown and see how it has evolved into a quiet cultural mecca. While you’re there, try every morsel and brew you come across — the menus are fantastisch. 

North Side;

Hot Date 
July 13

When you think of parrots and macaws, you may also daydream about palm trees, beaches and sultry nights. In the spirit of equatorial fiestas, BNY Mellon presents The National Aviary’s annual Night in the Tropics, a swanky soiree to benefit the aviary’s programs and operations. Sample a scrumptious menu that features a variety of local restaurants, tour the displays of exotic fowl and move to the reggae beats of The Freedom Band. In the aviary’s warm and humid air, you’ll feel transported to distant islands — a dream that could come true because a Caribbean cruise will be raffled off.

700 Arch St., North Side; 412/323-7235,

July 11-13

To early Americans, the Whiskey Rebellion was a courageous standoff against government tyranny, a test of the then-young Constitution. To today’s Pennsylvanians, it’s often an excuse to knock back some liquor. The Whiskey Rebellion Festival is something in between: In Washington, Pa., you’ll find live music, re-enactments, a parade, and more food and whiskey than you can possibly swallow. For true devotees of Washington County culture, the Whiskey Rebellion Dinner benefits the historic David Bradford House. 

Downtown Washington;

Send in the Crowds
July 6-21

For genuine fans, Opera Theater SummerFest is one of the most anticipated annual events. Performers from Opera Theater of Pittsburgh will belt arias and astonish audiences with their well-honed voices. This year’s lineup includes Tales of Hoffmann — Retold, a mix of the original, unfinished opera by Jacques Offenbach and additional material added by artistic director Jonathan Eaton and Robert Frankenberry. There’s the requisite Mozart opera The Secret Gardener and perhaps the most exciting addition this year — A Little Night Music, the Stephen Sondheim-composed musical. 

Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland; 412/326-9687,

Fast Forward
July 12-14, 20

It sounds nearly impossible to take a handful of moviemakers, give them a genre, a name and a prop, and dispatch them to make a movie in just two days. Yet teams succeed every year as they compete for Best Picture as part of the 48-Hour Film Project. This challenge has become a national phenomenon, with chapters in nearly every U.S. city. Pittsburgh filmmaking teams show their mettle as they knock out scripts, scramble for locations and shoot their four- to seven-minute masterpieces. See the results at the Hollywood Theater, where all finishing groups will have their flicks screened July 20. Film celebrities and professionals will give awards for 17 different categories, but you can weigh in with a vote for the Audience Choice Award. 

1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont;

Saddle Up
July 18-20

You don’t have to sell mares to enjoy Horse Trading Days. The family-friendly festival is designed for everyone. For three days, locals celebrate their pride in Zelienople and Harmony, two historic neighborhoods with a Norman Rockwell feel. Horse Trading Days resembles many small-town celebrations — except for the parade of dressage horses and the anticipated 40,000 participants. It doesn’t get more folksy than this: Pick up a “wooden nickel” for discounts at local stores, or watch your little one compete in the hobby horse race. Giddy-up and go! 

South Main Street, Zelienople; 724/814-4027,

Wild Side
July 12-14

It’s hard to believe that SouthSide Exposed is a free event. Not only do you get to peruse the bazaar of the artists market, where local crafters unveil their homemade wares, but you can also get your dance on with bands including No Bad Ju Ju, The Lava Game and more. Plus, you can check out breakdancing, drag queens and other fun presentations. SouthSide Works is transformed into a hippie village. Though SSW shoppers love their chain stores, Exposed shows how this development can become a community touchstone. 

SouthSide Works; 412/481-1750,

The Eagle is Landing
July 23

“Hotel California” is one of the best-selling, most recognizable songs in the history of FM radio. The Eagles’ soul-searching ballads have inspired fans for four decades, and the band is still going. In 2007, the fellas released Long Road Out of Eden, their first original album since 1979. The beloved desperados arrive in Pittsburgh as part of their 2013 reunion tour, dubbed “History of the Eagles,” which celebrates a recent documentary about The Eagles’ long flight to fame and subsequent 14-year breakup.

CONSOL Energy Center, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000,

Categories: From the Magazine, Things To Do