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Picklesburgh Doubles Footprint For Fifth Year

Picklesburgh hasn’t exactly been in a pickle. Last year, its fourth, the pickle-themed festival drew an estimated 100,000 or more to the Roberto Clemente Bridge. And the three-day specialty-foods event has continued attracting national attention. But with vendors lining both sides of the bridge, and visitors crowding blacktop and sidewalks alike, things could get both a little hot and a little crowded.

Picklesburgh will be held Fri., July 26, through Sun., July 28. in Downtown Pittsburgh.

This year’s expanded footprint should help, says Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, which produces the festival as a way to promote Downtown. Adding to its familiar base on the Clemente Bridge, Picklesburgh will take over the river-side lanes of three blocks of Fort Duquesne Boulevard. That stretch, from Stanwix to Seventh, is largely tree-shaded and will be outfitted with picnic tables to help attendees escape both the heat and the crowds.

The festival, already one of Pittsburgh’s most popular mid-summer events, is expanding in other ways, too. This year’s roster of 60 or more food, beverage and merchandise vendors is half again longer than last year’s list, said Waldrup. He said more establishments are creating pickled and pickle-flavor food specifically for the festival, and he considers the creativity level high.

“There’s pickled mango ginger hard cider this year. Who would have thought that that was even a thing?” he said. “We have chefs doing things like pickled hearts of palm, pizzas, pickled corn on the cob.”

Also look for pickle beers and pickle fudge, among other treats.

As in years past there’s also live music – two-dozen acts this year – plus home-pickling demonstrations and kids’ activities. And the popular pickle-juice-drinking contest, formerly a single-day event, is expanding to two days of heats followed by the Sunday finals.

Admission to Picklesburgh is free. A complete schedule is here.