Pittsburgh’s Top 15 Family Events in July

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This month is all about unique outdoor festival fun in Pittsburgh. Enjoy our guide of the Top 15 events you should not miss in July, and click on the links for more details.

1. EQT “Flashes of Freedom” Fireworks at Point State Park: July 4
The incredible fireworks display at Pittsburgh’s official 4th of July celebration has become one of the top 10 shows in the nation. The EQT “Flashes of Freedom” Fireworks event kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony at the Fort Pitt Museum. Outside of the museum, spectators can witness 18th century reenactors, rifle and musket demos, and fife and drum performances throughout the day. The Kids Zone offers face-painting, colorful patriotic craft activities, interactive games, photos with Uncle Sam, and an opportunity to add to the Celebrate America Mural. Entertainment on the Main Stage begins at 12:00 p.m. with shows by East End Kids, Alumni Theater Company, Stampede, Gone South, Jimbo & the Soupbones, Gary Racan and the Studio E Band, and Bon Journey. At 5:30 p.m., a special reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by the U.S Air Force fly over is planned. Festival food is available all day. The “Flashes of Freedom” fireworks are scheduled for 9:35 p.m. and set off from a barge in the three rivers. Tune into KDKA 1020AM for the patriotic-themed musical choreographed fireworks show that is sure to get “oos” and “aahs” from the crowd. Boom!

2. Vintage Grand Prix:  July 8-17
Celebrate the 34th annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, the nation’s largest vintage race event. Over 10 days, the PVGP Race Week events highlight vintage automobiles and the auto industry. Rev up your engine and check out one of the many events including the Kick-Off Rally, Blacktie Gala, PVGP Historics at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Walnut Street Car Show in Shadyside, Car Cruise at the Waterfront, Downtown Parade and Car Display, Tune-Up Party at PNC Park, Countryside Tour in Laughlintown, and Forbes Avenue Speed-Parade and Driver Reception in Squirrel Hill. The big Schenley Park Race Weekend concludes the week-long activities and is the premier vintage race event on city streets with over 150 vintage racers competing for victory. Ready, Set , Go!

3. Pogopalooza: July 8 – 9
Xpogo is an extreme sport involving riding and performing difficult tricks on decked out pogo sticks. The beautiful setting of Carrie Furnaces in Swissvale is worth the drive to experience this multi-day competition and World Championship. Meet the athletes, learn to pogo, eat from the food trucks, and take a Furnace Tour. #GoPogo

4. Firefly Festival at Soergel’s Orchard:  July 9
Imagine a night summer sky lite up by the beautiful sight of dancing fireflies. It makes us want summer to last all year. Escape to Soergel’s Orchards in the North Hills for a family evening of children’s games, tractor rides, pig races, bouncy houses, DJ music, food, kettle corn and cotton candy. Make yourself a s’more treat around the bonfire. There is not a better way to create a special summer family memory.

5. Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial Parade, Concert and Fireworks: July 9
Happy 200th Anniversary Pittsburgh! Join the City as they celebrate the past, present, and future of Pittsburgh. The Cultural Heritage Parade and festival begins at 11:00 a.m. at Point State Park. Many of the past Mayors who helped build this great city will return to honor Pittsburgh. Concert begins at 6:00 p.m. with performances from the Roger Humphries Jazz All-Stars, Pittsburgh’s Country All Stars – The Beagle Brothers & Slim Forsythe, and Pittsburgh’s Oldies and Rock ‘n Roll All-Stars featuring many local artists. The celebration would not be complete without a fantastic display of fireworks starting at dusk.

6. Superhero Cruise on Gateway Clipper:  July 9
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…the Superhero Cruise! Get on the water this summer with Gateway Clipper. Take a classic Pittsburgh sightseeing tour accompanied by Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman and more. Show off your superhero moves at the DJ dance party and take in the breathtaking views of the city!

7. Little Red Riding Hood with the Opera Theater of PittsburghJuly 9, 16, 23
Children of all ages will enjoy the 50-minute opera adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, written by composer Seymour Barab and sung in English. Audiences can sit up close in this informal and casual setting as the opera performs the classic story of Little Red, and teaches the valuable lessons of family relationships and the power of words. This is a unique opportunity to introduce the opera to young audiences.

8. Daniel Tiger Neighborhood at Idlewild:  July 11- 15
It’s a beautiful day in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood at Idlewild! Bring the kids to meet Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl, Miss Elaina and Prince Wednesday from the hit PBS Kids’ television show. Characters will appear daily, July 11 – 15 at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Hillside Theater Stage.

9. Picklesburgh:  July 15 – 16
Don’t get yourself in a pickle…just get down to Picklesburgh! Watch the Rachel Carson Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh transform into into Picklesburgh. The festival is a culinary celebration that goes beyond the dill pickle to include international dishes, artisan cocktails with pickle ingredients, a promotion for the rising popularity of canning, a selection of handcrafted foods from local restaurants, informative how-to demos, and a wide range of pickled goods. You will be tickled!

10. Shrek the Musical at the Benedum Center:  July 15 – 24
This fairy tale adventure proves beauty is in the eye of the ogre! Based on the Oscar-winning Dreamworks film, the beloved characters come to life as Shrek, the unlikely hero, finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. The story and music is sure to delight audiences of all ages! Shrek the Musical is a Tony Award®-winning show which features classics: “Big, Bright, Beautiful World,” “I’m a Believer” and more. Encore!

11. The Magical Musical of Harry Potter with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall:  July 16
Harry Potter is a story of a young boy with a great destiny to prove his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Conductor Andres Fanco creates a beautiful selection of scores from the iconic films, with music by John Williams and more. Children are encouraged to dress as a wizard, sorcerer or other Hogwarts favorites and participate in pre-concert activities. Be inspired once again by the magic of Harry Potter.

12. The 5k Color Run in Pittsburgh:  July 16
Take a 5k vacation with more fun, more sun, and more COLOR at The Color Run in the North Shore. This year, participants will bask in a tropical array of colors and delicious island scents as they pass palm trees, arches, and island-style music with the all-new Tropicolor Zone on course. Complete the 5k, and celebrate at the Finish Festival with interactive island music, photo opportunities, and color throws in Rainbow Beach. This is sure to be a happy and colorful event!

13. Polish Hill Arts Festival:  July 17
Pittsburgh in known for its unique and beloved neighborhoods. Head over to the Polish Hill Arts Festival for a free day of live entertainment, hands-on art activities, and Polish food. Shop and support over 30 local artists and craftspeople displaying and selling their artwork. This laid-back and quirky neighborhood event is one you and your family will enjoy.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates Bike to the Ballgame with Bike Pittsburgh:  July 23
Join the Pittsburgh Pirates as they team up with Bike Pittsburgh for the 3rd Annual Bike-To-The-Ballgame event. Fans are encouraged to take in the views of the city by biking on the river trails and Clemente Bridge before the game. Free valet bike parking will be open on Federal Street prior and during the game. Discounted tickets are available by using the Coupon Code: BIKE.

15. ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival at David L. Lawrence Convention Center:  July 28-21
Can you imagine 750 arcade and pinball machines, over 2,000 retro console games, a showcase of new games by developers, and competitions offering over $110,000 in prize money? The ReplayFX Arcade & Video Game Festival in Pittsburgh features the largest collection of working pinball, arcade and tabletop games in the world. Watch the world’s greatest players compete at the Pinburgh Match-Play Championship and Donkey Kong World Championship. Or, get your hands and mind working on one of the thousands of games available to attendees. In addition, the event has merchandise, magicians, live musicians, balloon artists, and educational seminars on gaming.

We hope this guide gives you a few ideas for July fun with your family. Visit the Pittsburgh Moms Blog Community Calendar for events happening every day in July.

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Community Events Manager - Jamie Welnick lives in the North Hills of Pittsburgh with her two year old son (Pete), husband of 5 years (Mark) and rescue dog (Dot). She is the go-to person for events in the region, and loves to pack up her family on weekends to check out a new community event, free concert, family fun run or outdoor hike. When Jamie is not exploring a new part of Pittsburgh, she enjoys running, restoring furniture and time at the lake. Her career experience includes management in corporate marketing, non-profit organizations, special events and media. These roles include Program and Events Manager at the Chamber of Commerce (in WI) and Marketing Director at Entercom Radio. In addition, she has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club and is a strong advocate for early intervention programs in Pittsburgh. With Pittsburgh Moms, she hopes to connect families, share information about community happenings, and inspire others to engage in one of the many activities Pittsburgh has to offer.