Let Pittsburgh Tickle Your Pickle Obsession
The weekend of July 17th I returned to my home city of Pittsburgh for my brother’s graduation party. Amidst stuffing my face with cake and hiding in my room with my cat and a beverage avoiding small talk with extended family members whose nose hair is longer than the zeros they put on my graduation check, I went downtown for the Picklefest.
Pittsburgh was transformed into Picklesburgh for the weekend. The Rachel Carson bridge, a main bridge through the city, was shut down for festivities. Heinz was started and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, hence the association with Heinz pickles. There was a giant pickle balloon above the bridge, and a couple people in pickle costumes wandered around for pictures (FOR FREE, a concept that always shocks me since the characters in New York always expect money for pictures. Seriously, I almost got beat up by an Elmo once).
Among the attendees were college students, young children and married couples. There was a local band performing and pickled flavored goodies galore, everything from ice-cream to cookies to the simple yet delicious pickles in a cup. I am a big fan of an event with free drink and food samples, so I enjoyed my time there a lot.
I always held a sort of resentment towards Pittsburgh; I think it sprung from the fact that all my friends and everyone I know loved it, so naturally I felt the need to do just the opposite. While it still bothers me that most people there consider it the greatest city in the world and refuse to acknowledge its downfalls and other cities upsides for the most part, I realized I do not hate it nearly as much anymore. I would not go so far as to say I love it since that is hard to say about a city known for football (which I hate) and Primanti’s meat filled sandwiches (I am a vegetarian).
Yet Pittsburgh does have some great events. Although it is far spread out and the different boroughs within it are challenging to get to without a car, downtown is small and walkable. I recommend a visit to hopefully the second annual Picklefest next year.