PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After being held virtually in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is taking over the city.
The summer favorite is coming back on a much grander scale this year. The festival will spread across the entire Cultural District and pour into Point State Park, where the main stage has been set.READ MORE: Free Tickets Available Thursday For Pittsburgh's Drive-In Movie Night
“It’s really actually emotional this morning to see the festival set up, to see the stage, to have the signage and think about where we’ve come,” said Sarah Aziz.
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Staff and volunteers must wear masks, and there will be more ground to cover because things will be spread out.
“Make sure you’re wearing your comfy walking shoes,” said Aziz. “Other than that, you have a lot of your festival favorites.”
That includes the delicious fair foods and live music at both Point State Park and the Riverside Stage at the Allegheny Overlook Pop-up Park.
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Along the way, you will find a stage on Fort Duquesne Boulevard. You will also find tons of food, public art displays, markets and galleries from more than 150 local artists.
Dr. Amber Epps is one of them. She and 12 other women have an exhibit called the “#NotWhite Collective” in the gallery on Liberty Avenue.
“I feel for some of us, it gave us an opportunity to make some art we would not have made last year,” said Epps.
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The exhibit includes work from women who are all non-white and challenges people to think from somebody else’s viewpoint. It runs through August.
Artists Laura Junge and Chris Jackson own Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago.
“I’m looking forward to being back with people again,” said Laura. “Part of the creative process is wonderful when you’re by yourself, but also sharing it and also making a living is a good part of it, too.”
The pair has been selling their pieces at the festival for about 15 years.
“We don’t get very often 15 months to concentrate on the artwork,” said Junge. “After the initial shock of, ‘how are we going to do this?’ we decided to get creative and use the time wisely. We got a lot of new stuff we’d love to show people.”
They hope visitors enjoy their paintings, but also feel at ease walking around.
“It’s going to be baby steps going back into the normal,” said Jackson. “This is a great venue because it’s wide open in the park.”
“It’s all the wonderful things you want in an art fair,” said Junge. “This year, I don’t think it’s going to rain on us.”
Michael Bonardi from Columbus makes jewelry out of coins and this is his favorite festival.
“It was the best news I’ve gotten in a long time. It was almost last second, so big props to everyone who made the last-minute effort to get everything on track, to get it going, because this is a tremendous amount of work. I don’t think people realize how much work it is to get something like this to run,” Bonardi said.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 994 New Cases, 12 Additional Deaths Over 72 Hours
The Three Rivers Arts Festival runs through June 13 and is be open from noon to 8 p.m.