By Jessica LaRosa
Ligonier Highland Games
2582 U.S. Route 30
Date: Saturday, September 10
Hours: Gates open at 9 a.m.
Price: $20 for adults; $18 for seniors; $10 for children aged 9-15; Free for children under 9
This Scottish festival is a uniquely good time for the entire family! You might feel as though you traveled through time and ended up in historic Scotland, surrounded by men in kilts, and the sound of Scottish music all around. In addition to a parade of bagpipe bands, you’ll find drummers, harpists, dancers, storytellers, athletes, and military re-enactments. If I were you though, I would plan my day around the athletic games, where brawny men in kilts will toss trees, throw hammers, and perform other feats of strength. There’s nothing else quite like the Highland Games.
Pittsburgh Irish Festival
Riverplex at Sandcastle
1000 Sandcastle Drive
West Homestead (Pittsburgh), PA
Dates and Hours: Friday, September 9 (4 p.m. – Midnight)
Saturday, September 10 (11 a.m. – Midnight),Sunday, September 11 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Price: $10 for adults (Advance); $12 for adults (Gate); $8 for students with I.D.; $8 for Seniors over 60;$5 for active or retired military with I.D.;
$5 for public safety officers with I.D.; Free for children under 12
It’s another day when everyone is Irish! Come celebrate Pittsburgh’s Irish heritage this weekend at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival. This three-day festival is packed with non-stop entertainment, including stages of dancing, singing, and music. Feast on some authentic Irish food (and some tasty Celtic beverages too!), shop at the Irish Marketplace, visit the native dogs of Ireland at the Irish Dog Tent, watch Irish artisans at work, or have the kids learn more about Irish culture with Children’s Arts & Crafts. There’s too much going on to list it all here, so be sure to visit the website for more information!
Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival
South Side Riverfront Park
Date: Saturday, September 17
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Experience the excitement of Asian cultures in Pittsburgh at this festival celebrating its 10th year in 2011. Bring the whole family to enjoy traditional Asian foods, dances, music, and art, as well as some beautifully designed Asian clothing and jewelry on display along Dragon Row. The most exciting aspect of this entire event, though, has to be Dragon Boating. These ornately decorated vessels measure 44-feet long and are painted in bright colors depicting dragons along the outside of the boat. The boats accommodate 20 paddlers, a steersperson, and a drummer. Want to try it out? You can! This is definitely an opportunity you might only experience once in your life.
Delmont Apple ‘N Arts Festival
East Pittsburgh Street
Dates: Saturday, October 1 – Sunday, October 2
Price: $5 donation per car is recommended
My personal hometown favorite fall festival is the Delmont Apple ‘N Arts Festival. There are over 150 arts & crafts vendors, 30 food vendors, and an abundance of locally grown apples and freshly ground grains. I’ve never been disappointed with the selection of apples and the amazing apple cider made fresh on site. This festival is the perfect place to take the family for the afternoon. It just doesn’t feel like fall until I attend this festival. My only suggestion is to arrive early as parking can get pretty tricky as 30,000+ visitors flock to this small-town festival.
Clarion Autumn Leaf Festival
Dates: Saturday, October 1 – Sunday, October 9
Price: Admission is Free
Just a short drive north from Pittsburgh lays the picturesque little town of Clarion, home of the Autumn Leaf Festival. By day, this event brings more than 300,000 visitors to the area to enjoy carnival rides, food, art, parades, auto shows, tractor pulls, and a ton of other activities for the whole family to enjoy. By night, college students from all around the area flock to the campus for a wild weekend of parties and bar hopping. The festivities culminate on Saturday, October 8 for Clarion University’s annual Homecoming football game against Lock Haven. Whether you’re looking for family fun or exciting nightlife, this festival won’t disappoint.
Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at www.forthefunoffit.wordpress.com.