Why These Notable Pittsburghers Love Winter

From a comedian, to a chef, to a TV news anchor –– all different reasons for why they love winter in Pittsburgh.


“Always, a winter Steelers game is magic. But outside of that, when they do the model train setup at the Science Center — I could stand in that room and watch the train and listen to that noise and it just feels like the holidays to me; it feels like warmth to me.” — Actor and Comedian Billy Gardell

photo via flickr creative commons

“In fall heading into winter, I enjoy taking in my patio furniture. Because I hate summer … I like winter. So my favorite tradition is getting rid of the summer [junk] and getting ready for winter … My second favorite ritual is watching the Christmas decorations come down.” — Radio Host Stan Savran

photo by Duane rieder

“Though I love going to all the fancy parties and the fancy concerts at Heinz Chapel and the Carnegie — with everyone dressed in their Saturday and Sunday best … hands down my favorite winter tradition is going to PPG to see the gingerbread houses made by every school in Western Pennsylvania. Every class in every school! From Avella to Zelienople, from Bishop Canevin to Ford City — the astonishing and bizarre artistic skills of the entire childhood population of Steeler Nation are on display.” — Actor and PM Columnist David Conrad

photo by laura petrilla

“I  love heading to Seven Springs and shredding the gnar on my snowboard. I try to get out at least six times a year.” — Chef Justin Severino

Illustration by Evette Gabriel

“For me the most important thing in the season is for the Highmark Caring Place … When people who have been clients of the Caring Place all come together and light candles for the loved ones; it’s for the children, but they light candles for loved ones they lost. I’ve been doing it for years; I read them a story that’s child-appropriate about loss and how to remember with great love those we’ve lost and things we’ve lost and carry them with us, having a positive impact on our lives … I lost my father when I was 14 and there wasn’t any Caring Place for me then. That’s the most important part of the holiday season for me.” — News Anchor Sally Wiggin

photo: YouTube

“My girlfriend Melody and I take our granddaughters every year to the Nutcracker [at the Benedum]. It’s one of our traditional things that we do every year, and we love it. We’ve been doing it for the past six or seven years with the little girls, Gigi and Ellie. That’s our favorite Pittsburgh tradition for Christmas.” — Musician Donnie Iris

photo courtesy of matthew buchholz

“When I moved to Pittsburgh in 2008, I lived in Lawrenceville, and the way I really got to know the neighborhood and meet a lot of great people was through the Joy of Cookies Tour that happens every December. All the stores offer samples of cookies, there are tons of events and people are out for the whole weekend … I still love to get a coffee from Espresso a Mano and stop in all the shops to say hello — and get some cookies, too.” — “Alternate Histories” Creator Matthew Buchholz