It’s the first full week for the City of Pittsburgh’s annual line-up of free outdoor summer events, including concerts and films.
The roster features film screenings starting at dusk on different nights of the week in eight city parks, plus several concert series, foot races and line dancing. The offerings are organized by the city’s Office of Special Events, which starting this year is also overseeing weekly farmers’ markets in seven neighborhoods.
Two of the most popular draws combine live music and movies. This week marks the start of the Wednesday Night Concert Series on Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park, in which a concert by a local band precedes a film. On Wednesday, the Wizdom World Beat Reggae Band plays at 7 p.m., followed by the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing.
“You can come out a little earlier, enjoy some free music before we show the movie, and it's not genre-specific, so you can have everything from jazz, reggae, rock'n'roll, things like that,” said Brian Katze, the city’s manager of special events. “So it's something for everybody with that series.”
On Saturday in Riverview Park, guests will find the first installment of the Stars at Riverview Jazz Series, also paired with a film. Saxophonist Lee Robinson kicks things off, and the film there too is Dirty Dancing.
Katze called the Riverview concert series “a great collection of local and regional jazz artists who are just fantastic, they're great musicians, great people, and this really is a great time to come out and see this park if you haven't seen it before.”
Cinema in the Park films are mostly recent name releases rated PG. This summer includes Deep, Wonder, Despicable Me 2 and Coco. Flagstaff Hill and Riverview Park also host some PG-13 titles, including Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman and Black Panther.
The two series also incorporate movies from the Spark! Film Series, themed for cultural diversity, including The Adventures of Tintin, Kedi and Ping Pong Playa.
Other parks hosting screenings include Highland Park, West End/Elliot Overlook, Brookline Memorial Park, Arsenal Park, Grandview Park, and, new this year, McBride Park in Lincoln Place. Schenley Plaza has its own Sunday night series.
Other free concert series organized by the city’s Office of Special Events includes Bach, Beethoven and Brunch (Sunday mornings starting June 17, in Mellon Park, Point Breeze), and Reservoir of Jazz, Aug. 5-Sept. 2, in Highland Park.
Summer Soul Line Dancing starts in June in four locations, including Downtown’s Mellon Square; Highland Park; Schenley Park; and the West End Overlook.
City-run farmers’ markets (some already in progress) take place weekly Downtown, in East Liberty, on the South Side, on the North Side, and in Squirrel Hill, Carrick and Beechview.
For more information, see www.pittsburghpa.gov/events.