From fireworks to Billy Joel.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Credit: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of visiting Pittsburgh knows these two undeniable truths: With six Super Bowl championships under its belt, Pittsburgh boasts one of the greatest sports franchises of all time, and Heinz Ketchup is the only socially recognizable condiment of its kind.

Once considered a captain of the steel industry, this venerable rust-belt town has history that runs deep. Influencers from Andrew Mellon and Andy Warhol to Wiz Khalifa all hail from Pittsburgh’s sprawling metropolis. And with a flourishing arts, food, tech and culture scene, today Pittsburgh stands as an emblem, not only of what an American city should be, but what makes one so great. There’s something for everyone here, and there’s no better time to see and experience it all than when the streets and skies come alive over the July Fourth weekend.

“We’re a huge fireworks city,” Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh, told Travel + Leisure. “We have a saying in Pittsburgh, and the saying goes that when two or more people get together, there have to be fireworks.” Mr. Davis, who described Pittsburgh as a “slice of Americana,” said there a number of activities to choose from over July Fourth this year.

Kicking things off on Friday, July 1, you can sing along to the Piano Man himself at PNC Park when Billy Joel takes the stage. You can also don your boots and cowboy hats and head over to Heinz Field on Saturday to watch Kenny Chesney perform.

Perhaps the real star of the show is the Three Rivers Regatta, which will play host to two events this summer. The July 4 festivities include a day of local music and food vendors, which culminates with the Flashes of Freedom fireworks show on the Allegheny River later that evening.

For more information about Pittsburgh’s July Fourth events, head over to

Michelle Gross is an Editorial Producer and Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @mtothegnyc.