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Arts, Sports & Culture

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Santa Claus in the summer? The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) celebrating its 20th anniversary this week with dancing in the streets and Christmas in July, among other things.

The eight day celebration will highlight some of the most vibrant and attractive aspects of downtown Pittsburgh, says PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to just get out and walk around our beautiful city,” Waldrup said.

Some “Celebrate Downtown” events include the Dine Around food tasting Tuesday at seven local restaurants and a Christmas in July Farmers Market in Market Square Thursday. The market will feature Santa Claus and a holiday performance by the CLO Ministars.

Market Square will also be the site of several Pop Up Project exhibitions. Pop Up: Play on Tuesday will give kids the chance to interact with over-sized Jenga, Connect-4, and chess games. On Friday, Pop Up: Fashion will show off Pittsburgh’s downtown retailers and fill the square with clothing vendors of all types and Pop Up: Picnic will feature food and live music.

There will be plenty of dancing, with free salsa lessons accompanied by a live band on Friday in Market Square and an “Open Streets” celebration on Sunday. Sunday morning, the Clemente Bridge, Market Street, and Sixth Street will be closed to traffic and open to more dance classes, Zumba groups, yoga classes, climbing walls, and more.

“It should just be a really family-friendly, fun event to get people out and get them active,” Waldrup said.

According to Waldrup, the week will be more than just fun and entertainment. On Saturday, volunteers will gather early in the morning to tidy up the city.

“We’re going to have our largest community clean-up ever,” Waldrup said. “We’re expecting over 150 volunteers to come in on Saturday July 19th at 9am and help us clean and green downtown.”

Also on Saturday, “All-Access” tours will run throughout the day, giving the curious a rare opportunity to explore some of the off-limits areas downtown.

“We’re allowing folks to sign up to go to the top of the U.S. Steel Tower and get a view of the city that few get to see,” Waldrup said. “We’re going backstage in theaters in the cultural district…just a fun way to get people in spaces that they’ve maybe always thought about going into but never really had the opportunity.”

Some events require tickets. More information, as well as a complete schedule, is available on the PDP’s website.