Summer 2015 Events Preview: How to maximize fun in the sun over the school-free break

By: Seth Culp-Ressler | Features Editor

In the words of the great Alice Cooper, “school’s out for summer.” For many Duquesne students that means looking ahead to jobs and internships for the coming summer months, often times right here in the Steel City. While it’s good to get that all-important experience under one’s belt, summer in Pittsburgh is also a time to kick back, relax and enjoy some of the great events and festivals put on throughout the hottest part of the year. The Duke has picked two great options for each of the next four months to keep the good times rolling and make sure summer 2015 is one to remember. Get your calendars ready.

May, the first month away from essays, exams and classes, offers up two different festivals. From the educational to the entertaining, these two events are a great way to ease into the summer events season.

May 15-16, Pittsburgh Folk Festival: To kick off the summer get ready to travel the world, happily with no passport required. The Pittsburgh Folk Festival, now in its 58th year, brings live performances from over 500 dancers and musicians, as well as ethnic cuisine, cultural exhibits and arts and crafts. The festival will be held at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Tickets are $6. For info visit pghfolkfest.org

(Photo Courtesy of Rocco Vitale) A Pyrotechnico fireworks show at Pyro Fest.

(Photo Courtesy of Rocco Vitale) A Pyrotechnico fireworks show at Pyro Fest.

May 22-23, Pyro Fest: Just in time for Memorial Day is Pyro Fest, the country’s largest fireworks festival. If regular old fireworks aren’t doing it for you anymore Pyro Fest is an opportunity to break the mold with a boom. From choreographed shows to live music, Pyro Fest is the perfect way to spend a Memorial Day weekend. Pyro Fest will be held at Cooper’s Lake in Butler County.

Student tickets start at $10. For info visit pyrofest.com

June brings some opportunities to get out in the beautiful Western PA weather and party it up. Grab your friends, grab your family and get ready to embrace what the summer months are all about: spreading the love, embracing community and having boatloads of fun.

June 6, Slide the City: This giant traveling water slide has been making the news recently, and Pittsburgh is one of the numerous cities the 1,000-foot monster will be visiting during summer 2015. You don’t want to miss out on this soaking-wet adventure, so grab tickets now before they’re gone. The giant slide will run down South Park’s Sunny Side Slope.

Tickets start at $20. For info visit slidethecity.com

June 13-14, Pittsburgh Pride: Block Parties, Marches and more are all on the docket for Pittsburgh Pride 2015. Last year saw an estimated 60,000 attendees, so do you really want to be the odd one out on this one? Didn’t think so. Stop making excuses and just share the love. PrideFest, the main block party, will be held on Liberty Avenue on June 14 and is free to all.

For info visit pittsburghpride.org

July is the month that any and all gearheads, racing enthusiasts and mechanically inclined individuals should be looking forward too. Be it in the air, on land or by water, friendly competition abounds. If you’ve never been to a race in your life consider this your chance. It’ll be fun. Promise.

July 3-5, Three Rivers Regatta: In concurrence with the Fourth of July weekend comes the largest inland regatta in the country, with an estimated 500,000 visitors in attendance. As usual Formula One Power Boats will be racing on the rivers, accompanied by live music, food, fireworks and aerial competitions, among other events. Don’t miss out on the fun – you’ll regret it if you do. The main festivities for the Regatta will be held in Point State Park.

For info visit yougottaregatta.com

(Photo Courtesy of Bill Stoler) Mini Coopers race around Schenley Park as part of the Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix.

(Photo Courtesy of Bill Stoler) Mini Coopers race around Schenley Park as part of the Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix.

July 10-19, Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix: Hosting over a week of races, rallies and shows, the Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix is one of the premier vintage automotive events in the country, and a must see for any automotive-minded individual. This year is featuring the Marques of Italy, so now’s your chance to see rows of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis for as far as the eye can see. The free main races will be held throughout the winding streets of Schenley Park.

For info visit pvgp.org

August brings the end of the summer season, and provides some opportunities to get in shape for the coming school year. Push your body as far as it can go, or maybe just cruise at a comfortable pace. Either way, August provides some great opportunities to end the summer on an exercise-induced high note.

Aug 7-9, Pittsburgh Triathlon: For those wishing to explore the limits of their physical abilities the Pittsburgh Triathlon provides an outlet just for you. Swim, bike and run to victory – if you can tough it out, of course. Start training now. You’ll need it. The start and finish point for the race will be in Point State Park.

For info and registration visit friendsoftheriverfront.org/triathlon/

Aug 30, PedalPGH: A two-wheeled event for all ages and experience levels, PedalPGH is the perfect way to cap off a summer and explore the bike-friendly environment Pittsburgh has cultivated. Varying ride lengths are offered depending on the challenge one is seeking. PedalPGH will start and finish at the SouthSide Riverfront Park.

For info and registration visit pedalpgh.org

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