The season of outdoor living is here: Enjoy the best tacos, pizza and beer, see cool art and much more — all during the hottest event month of the year.
1. Pittsburgh Taco Festival at Highmark Stadium: June 1, 12-3 & 4-7 p.m.
Have tacos have surpassed pierogies as Pittsburgh’s fave compact cuisine? See how Pittsburgh chefs are winning the taco game when everyone’s numero uno food — and emoji — takes over Highmark Stadium. From food trucks and area farms to veteran restaurants and hip bars, 30-plus establishments will up their culinary game with creative twists on the tasty taco. Just reading the vendor list will have your mouth watering, anticipating the eats from Edgars Best Tacos, Mi Empanada, Doce Taqueria and many others. Even Evil Swine BBQ, Caustelot Creamery and Pgh Crepes are in on the action. The fest features two sessions, plus a mariachi band, dance and performances by Gavas Beat. Buy tickets.
2. Full Bloom Summer Dance Party at Kelly Strayhorn Theater: June 1, 7 p.m.
One of East Liberty’s signature parties is a mecca for contemporary dance and performance, and for one very special night you’re invited to join in on the dance floor. Help the cultural venue celebrate the energy, diversity and creativity of its programming and its East Liberty neighborhood as you dance the night away with DJs Gladstone Deluxe, Samir Gangwani Samir and Nate da Phat. Savor great food from Black Radish and Tana Ethiopian and expect spirited pop-up surprises from the KST team. This is a “pay what makes you happy” bash, so any amount will support the theater’s community programming.
3. Highmark International StrEAT Festival Downtown: June 1 & 2, 12-8 p.m.
The open-air bazaars and electric street vendors found in cities around the world all have a distinct character. For two days in June, the area’s only international festival of its kind will give Pittsburghers a taste of this vibrant activity, lining Downtown’s Penn Ave. corridor with vendors from all over Southwestern Pennsylvania. Test your stamina during meatball eating contests, watch pros lead cooking demonstrations and learn global games and crafts. Tempt your taste buds with fare from Jamaica Faraway Kitchen, Di’Anoia’s Eatery, and Pittsburgh Halal Foods and stock up on supplies for your kitchen and pantry. Sip libations from Bella Bambini Cello, R Wine Cellar and KingView Mead and shop for gifts.
4. pearlPRESENTS Dance Festival at New Hazlett Theater: June 3-9, various times
A brand new arts festival aims to make Pittsburgh a destination city for dance. The brainchild of choreographer Staycee Pearl — co-founder of PearlArts Studios and STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos (SPdp&SS) — the lineup includes performances, master classes, a benefit gala and more. Sidra Bell Dance New York will debut a work examining themes of surveillance and voyeurism, while SPdp&SS premieres a groove-infused celebration of soul music. Making their Pittsburgh debut with thought-provoking contemporary ballet will be Island Moving Co. And audiences will experience a mix of hip-hop and Indian dance in the work of chitra.MOVES. The community program 3600 Seconds of Solos brings together 12 local artists performing five-minute solo works. Buy tickets.
5. Pittsburgh Pride Downtown: June 7-9
This year’s events will hold particular significance as Pittsburgh Pride commemorates the 50th anniversary of the pivotal Stonewall uprising. Pre-game your Pride-tastic festivities on June 1, at a Britsburgh tea with Drag Queen Kierra Darshell at the elegant Omni William Penn. Get cosmic when seven-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton, Cincy alt-rockers Walk the Moon and Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama heat up Pride Rocks PGH. Animating the iconic Andy Warhol Bridge will be the weekend-long PrideFest with 175 vendors, all kinds of live music and performance on three stages, a wellness village and family-friendly attractions. New this year: the “Check Your Blind Spots” tour bus where you can examine bias in your own life. Show your Pride at Sunday’s powerful Equality March and dance it off at the just-added after-party with DJ Tony Moran. Also, don’t miss the Peoples Pride 2k19 events, and check out more Pride events in NEXTpittsburgh.
6. Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in Point State Park, Gateway Center and Cultural District: June 7–16
Sit inside a giant spinning top made from colorful woven fabric. Watch a gravity-defying dancer perform on a 40-foot morphing shipping container. Walk amidst towering sculptures made from upcycled flip-flops. These are just a few of the exciting experiences you’ll have at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. You’ll definitely want to add your message to a time capsule to be opened in 2120 and stroll the eclectic Artist Market showcasing 300 artists. Don’t miss the Juried Visual Art Exhibition, Remember Me, featuring 52 mixed media works by 39 artists, and pop into 937 Liberty to catch Alexis Gideon’s multimedia video opera, There is Not an Infinite Space Between Two Points. Read about live music at TRAF here.
7. TEDxPittsburgh at the Byham Theater: June 15, 11 a.m.
How is artificial intelligence being harnessed to combat human trafficking? What’s it like to work in the field of lunar exploration? Why is learning a new language so transformative? Explore these fascinating questions — and the world-altering solutions they’re generating at TEDxPittsburgh. Taking the mic will be baker and humanitarian Jasmine Cho, artificial intelligence technologist Emily Kennedy, space entrepreneur John Thorton and many others. Featuring music by The Homeless Gospel Choir and Get Down Gang, this year’s edition will showcase thought leaders whose ideas have helped them become “greater than the challenges they face” in science, art and technology. Concerned about the state of the planet and hungry to hear new ideas coming out of Pittsburgh? Then you don’t want to miss this. Buy tickets.