Britsburgh Festival To Celebrate All Things British

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Americans are fascinated by all things British: the royal family, their rock and roll and the tradition of high tea.

Next week, the people of Pittsburgh won’t have to cross the pond as the celebration known as Britsburgh returns.

Jane Famili hails from England. Her friend, Danielle Spinola, owns a tea shop in Millvale. Together they are getting ready for the second edition of Britsburgh.

“Americans think that the Brits are serious all the time. Stiff upper lip and that’s not the case at all,” Famili said.

This year’s events begin Tuesday, Sept. 6. What would Britsburgh be without proper tea — a tradition dating back to the 1600s and a woman named Catherine.

“She married King Charles II and had a love of tea and brought that to England, and so they actually, he started the East Indies Tea Company for her out of India, Bangladesh. So, that started this love affair between tea and the Brits,” Spinola said.

No less than ten tea shops around Pittsburgh will participate with events like a cockney rhyming contest, tea with the queen and various tea tastings. But, it is much more than sipping your favorite hot beverage.

“Our event is spread over a week, but they’re catered to all different kinds of people. We have events for kids. We have events for my age. We have events for teenagers. There is music. There is beer. It’s just a really, really fun time,” Famili said.

The event is designed to celebrate the long-standing relationship between Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom – one Famili knows personally.

“My father was actually in the steel industry, which is how I came over to Pittsburgh originally…He worked for US Steel. I just loved Pittsburgh so I decided to stay,” Famili said.

Thanks to Britsburgh, she and many other Brits will feel just a little closer to home.

For more information about this year’s event, visit the Britsburgh website here.

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