Tomorrow is the Independence Day celebrations in Armenia, Belize and Malta.  Monday night football premiered in 1970, Hurricane Hugo hit the east coast in 1989 and Nez Perce Chief Joseph died in 1904.  Birth anniversary include actor Chuck Jones (1912), Declaration of Independence signer Francis Hopkinson (1737) and English novelist HG Wells (1866).

As an addendum to my last post on ALCOSAN, so much for me trying to be less critical.  ALCOSAN paid their consultants $500,000 for financial advice.  The only question I have is for a half a million dollars in fees, why do the rate payers have to cover the $70,000 fine for the consultant’s mistake (s)?  What did we pay them a half a million dollars?  OK, it was two questions.  🙂

I wanted to get that out of my system before I went to the fun part.  Remember the Big Yellow Duck is coming to Pittsburgh next Friday, September 27.  He’ll be stationed right down on the Allegheny River until October 20.  The duck is the creation of Dutch artist Florentijin Hofman and has been all around the world and he (she ?) has been drawing hordes of people.

RAD days are back.  For accepting RAD dollars, the various attractions they support, the attractions have to give the general free admission once a year.  Tomorrow, The Frick will offer free admission from 10 am – 5 pm and from noon until 2 pm they will teach lawn bowling.  Monday, September 23 Phipps Conservatory has free admission and is featuring local glass artists’ work displayed throughout; free admission.  Soldiers and Sailors Hall is offering free admission all day.  On Tuesday, September 24 Soldiers and Sailors again has free admission.  Wednesday, September 25 Soldiers and Sailors again has free admission as does the Audubon Society of Western PA-Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve is offering a free senior hike from 9 am until 10 am.  Thursday, September 26 PNC Park and Heinz Field are both offering free stadium tours from 10 am until 3 pm.  Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is offering free 1/2 hour docent tours from 2 until 3 pm of their facility.  Squonk Opera will have a free performance of their Mayhem and Majesty at 8 pm at the New Hazlett Theater.  On Friday, September 27 the Convention Center is offering free 45 minute tours of the facility at 10 & 11 am, noon or 1 pm, reservations are needed.  The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will be having a free Gallery Crawl from 5:30 until 11 pm.  And the Audubon Society will have free admission for their Owl Prowl from 7:30 until 9:30.  Saturday, September 28 will feature a free event from 10 am until 5 pm Enough Violence: Artists Speak Out.  The Audubon Society will feature a Kids Walk from 10 – 11 am.  WQED public television will offer free tours of their facilities from 11am until 1 pm.  Hartwood Acres will be offering free hayrides from 11 am until 4 pm.  The Young Men & Women’s African Heritage Association (YMWAHA) will host an open house showcasing their work with quilting, etc from noon until 6 pm.  This is the organization that brought those wonderful ladies with Gee’s Bend Quilters to The Parador for their show at the New Hazlett Theater back in 2010.  The Oakland Carnegie Library will present a sneak preview of The Devil’s Arithmetic from noon until 1 pm.  Finally, for Saturday the Pittsburgh Opera will feature their resident artists’ favorite arias from 6 until 7:30.  Sunday, September 29 The Warhol will have free admission from 10 until 5.  The Carnegie Science Center will have free admission from 10 until 5 as will the Children’s Museum. RiverQuest will give free tours of their green educational vessel-the world’s first from 11 am – 3 pm.  The Carnegie Museum of Art, Architecture and Natural History will have free admission from noon until 5 pm.  YMWAHA will again have an open house from noon until 6 pm.  Free admission to The Mattress Factory from 1 until 5 pm.  The Pittsburgh Opera will have another event, a close of of Aida with an in depth look at the music as well as the story.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the Soldiers and Sailors will again hold open houses.  Also on Wednesday, October 2 Manchester Craftsman’s Guild will showcase what they do from 5 – 7 pm with a Jazz and Youth and Arts Festival.  And the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will again have free admission to their galleries from 6 – 8 pm.  On Thursday, October 3 Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will again open their doors from 2 until 3 pm with docent led tours. Friday, October 4 the Pittsburgh Glass Center will offer free demonstrations of glassblowing and flame working from 10 am until 9 pm. Pittsburgh Filmmakers will have free screenings at 7:30 and then 9:15.  Saturday, October 5 the Bulgarian-Macedonia National Education and Cultural Center will have free admission from 9 am until 3 pm in their museum of artifacts and their gift shop will also be open where you can purchase ethnic gift ware.  The Fort Pitt Museum will have free admission from 10 am – 5 pm.  Boyce-Mayview Parks will have free guided nature hikes, geocaching, crafts and campfires from 2 until 8 pm. Allegheny Land Trust will have free nature hiking, tours of bird watching, bat sightings and such from 2 – 7 pm at Wingfield Pines Conservation Area.  City Theatre Company will have Storytellers with Dance, Mime and Movement from 11 am until 8 pm.  Pittsburgh Filmmakers will host two more film series, same times.  The Senator John Heinz History Center will have free admission on Sunday, October 6 with lots of activities from 10 am – 5 pm.  The National Aviary will have free admission from 10 am – 5 pm.  Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will again have activities from 1 – 4 p.  The City Theatre will have a puppetry workshop for those aged 11 – 18 (I assume parents are invited to attend as well) 🙂 from 2:30 – 4 pm.  The main Carnegie Library again weighs in with a group playing clarinet, euphonium and trombone featuring music ranging from Renaissance to Ragtime from 3:30.  Skip a few days and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts again has free activities on Thursday, October 10 from 2 – 3 pm.  Saturday, October 12 will have a Sketch Crawl from 10 am – 4 pm.  South Park will have Hay Day the following Saturday, October 19 from noon – 4 p. with hayrides, pony rides, etc. from noon until 4 pm.  Ending the festivities will be the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium free day Sunday, November 10 from 9 am – 5 pm for their free day.

Surely there’s something in the above that will grab your interest.  Whatever you do, don’t come over to the Northside on Sunday.  Sell out crowds for the Pirates vs the Reds for an afternoon game (1:35 pm) quickly followed by the Steelers and the Ravens at 8:30.  Parking and traffic will be a nightmare.  I’m sold out and 3/4 of my guest rooms are regulars, it’s going to be like a family reunion.



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