Cat videos, curling, a love-in and the chance to throw it back to the ’80s. There’s a lot to love about March.
1. Icy Lights along Oakland Avenue: March 1, 4-10 p.m.
Sure, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, but you should enjoy Old Man Winter’s last gasp at the debut of Pittsburgh’s newest outdoorsy festival. Packed with six hours of free fun, this block party will transform Oakland Ave. into a winter wonderland playground. You know you’ve always wanted to try curling and this is your chance to learn from the pros. The icy action will include celebrity street curling competitions, dazzling ice sculpting, music by Shaq Nicholson and DJ Pandemic, frosty drinks, tasty bites and cool prizes. Party under Oakland’s new lighting installation, chill out on lounge chairs and warm up next to the fire pits.
2. Farm to Table Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: March 1 – 10
Locavores take note: Pittsburgh’s Farm to Table Conference is rolling out a massive expansion as part of the long-standing Home & Garden Show. Boasting 60 vendors and 10 days packed with speakers, displays and demonstrations, there’s even more to love about eating, growing and cooking local. Learn to make everything from kimchi to Indian food to power bowls, gain pro gardening tips and discover why gourmet mushrooms taste great and are medicinally powerful. It’s your chance to find out where your food comes from and how you can support the local farms, producers and groups promoting healthy lifestyle choices that help us and our planet. You can’t beat the affordable $10 ticket price.
3. JFilm at SouthSide Works Cinema: March 7 – 17
A band of misfits challenging Israel’s ruling political party in the 1980s. The epic life of French writer and war hero Romain Gary. A comedy duo scouring Montreal for the best Jewish foods, and the mysterious death of a Nobel Prize nominee. These compelling stories and others are on tap for the 26th edition of JFilm. The lineup of 21 films from 11 countries will be augmented by special events like Q&As, a bagel brunch, Film Schmooze talks and parties. Don’t miss the world premiere of “Back to Maracanã” about a 40-something divorced man who treks from Israel to Brazil for the World Cup with his father and spoiled son. Buy tickets.
4. Rising Women Conference at the Ace Hotel: March 8, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Think this is just another self-help conference? Think again. You’ll want to have a seat at the table and a voice in the room when Pittsburgh’s newest conference rocks the Ace. The powerhouse pair behind this empowerment summit — writer Lindsey Smith and food stylist Quelcy Kogel — know how valuable it is to bring women from all walks of life together. Rewriting the conference playbook, this gathering for anyone identifying as a womxn includes childcare, scholarships, a maker faire and the opportunity for writers to pitch their “tiny book idea” for publication. Hear from CEOs, photographers, immigrants, women who overcame homelessness, a self-love coach, a war veteran, a lawyer, an all-female chamber ensemble and others. Buy tickets.
5. Cat Video Fest at Row House Cinema: March 10-21
It’s safe to say that cats, not cockroaches, should inherit the earth. They’ve won the internet, have their own traveling circus and museums, and are the stars of a nationally touring video festival. When it crawls into town, this feline flick fest will bring a compilation reel showcasing the zaniest and best cat videos culled from countless submissions, animations, music videos and classic internet faves. You can’t find this cat-travaganza on Roku or your iPhone. It’s about the communal experience of watching on the big screen, meowing along, raising funds for Humane Animal Rescue and Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue and maybe even going home with your new best friend. Buy tickets.
6. Bohemian Nights at Pittsburgh Opera: March 18, 6:30-9 p.m.
One of the most exciting aspects of attending an opera is witnessing the ornate costumes, wigs and accouterments that designers labor over to help make the on-stage stories and songs so captivating. Opera lovers and fashionistas alike will get an insider’s perspective at Bohemian Nights. Paying tribute to Puccini’s 19th-century masterpiece, La bohème, the night’s runway showcase will spotlight the visionary thinkers behind the opera’s iconic fashion statements. Co-presented with Larrimor’s, the must-do gala includes signature cocktails and plenty of mingling at the Opera’s hip Strip District HQ. Buy tickets.