From pickled pierogies to butterscotch pretzel pickle cookies, this is one pickle party you don’t want miss.
The city of Pittsburgh is synonymous with many things. Six-time Superbowl champs the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heinz ketchup. The now infamous, and highly contested furry festival. But now, for the second year in a row, Picklesburgh—a two-day festival celebrating all things pickles, pickled dishes and pickle cocktails, is putting Pittsburgh on the map yet again.
“Its like a foodie-event meets county fair on the middle of a bridge in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh,” President and CEO of the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership Jeremy Waldrop told Travel + Leisure.
Pittsburgh was ranked as one of the best places to travel in 2016 by T+L, and the city’s food scene has been gaining so much momentum over the last couple years that Zagat named it the number one food city in America. With over 40 pickle inspired food and drink vendors this year, including some of the city’s most venerated restaurants Meat & Potatoes and Butcher and The Rye, and 14 bands ranging from pop to blues, this family-friendly event is sure to be one for the pickle books.
“This festival speaks to Pittsburgh in so many ways,” Waldrop said. “We have this large melting pot of eastern European settlers from the 1800s and 1900s when the steel mills were really rolling.”
“They’ve really brought in their culture of pickled meats and pickled foods and pierogies, which are huge here,” he added, “and it’s gonna play off of our strengths of a city and what makes us interesting and unique.”
Of course, no pickle party is complete without a little friendly competition. Up for grabs this year is the chance to win $500 as well as the title of Mayor of Picklesburgh. All you have to do is drink a quart of pickle juice in record time. (The time to beat is 8 seconds.)
“People get really into it,” Leigh White, VP of Marketing and Communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership said. “It’s really a lot of fun.”
The crown jewel of Picklesburgh, the 35-foot pickle balloon that floats effortlessly above the crowds, was a big time crowd pleaser last year, generating more than 15,000 posts on Instagram.
The free two-day festival starts on Friday, from noon to 10 p.m. on the Rachel Carson Bridge. For more information, check out the website at www.picklesburgh.com
Michelle Gross is an Editorial Producer and Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @mtothegnyc