Tomorrow is the anniversary of the British invasion of Washington DC (1814), the eruption of Mt Vesuvius (79 AD), Ukraine received it’s independence from USSR (1991), St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (in 1572 thousands of Protestant Huguenots were murdered for the religious beliefs), Yasser Arafat’s birth anniversary (1929) and Duke Kahanamoku’s birth anniversary (the Hawaiian Olympic swimmer from the 1920 games, born 1890).

Have you seen the two new twenty foot metal sculptures gracing South Shore’s Riverfront Park?  They were just installed in the park from where local artists created them over in Hazelwood.  Appropriately, the sculptures were created using pieces of closed steel mills and even parts of the hot metal bridge that used to carry molten iron across the Monongahela.  “The Workers” were created from 26 tons of steel and they have a ladle savaged from the steel mill between them.

Unless you live there, you probably may not have even noticed the McArdle Roadway bridge has been closed for re-hab for the past year and a half.  In case your not familiar, it’s that little bridge that connects Arlington by the Liberty Tubes down into Southside.

Speaking of reopening, it looks like the Route 65 bridge over Marshall Avenue will be reopening two months early.  They are now planning on opening that next Friday, August 31.  That will be a major relief for commuters using Ohio River Blvd.

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again.  Fall is approaching and those great people over at the Rainbow Kitchen has started their coat drive for this winter.  The need gently used coats of all sizes, particularly larger sizes.  They are also looking for gently used Halloween costumes for kids.  You can drop them off at their headquarters 135 East 9th Street, Homestead.  They are staffed Monday through Friday 9 am until 4 pm.  More info by calling or e-mailing Marlene Murphy.  412.464.1892 marlene.murphy@rainbowkitchen.org.

While there, maybe stop at my friend’s Blue Dust Restaurant on Amity between 8th Avenue and the entrance to the WaterWorks.  (Right next the the railroad tracks).  Dad Jerry is famous for all of his smoked meats, Daughter Sarah besides being an excellent culinarian, she’s also quite the artist if you need any murals painted in your house.  And Mom, Rose keeps everything running on an even keel.  Always a great casual eatery.

Wildcard at 4209 Butler Street in Lawrenceville will be hosting Pittsburgh’s Etsy Craft Party 2012 tomorrow from 5 – 9 pm.  Etsy, the on-line crafters community boasts 800,000 shops and 17M members.  Wildcard carries hundreds of items handmade by local artists.  Their theme is Wish You Were Here challenging people to think about what they love about da burg.  Admission is free, but reservations are required.  More info by calling 412.224.2651 or by visiting their web site.

Hartwood Acres is hosting one of their last summer concerts, The Allegheny County Music Festival.  Festivities start around 5 on Sunday with Rusted Root taking stage around 7:30.  This “free” concert, technically isn’t free.  They are requesting a $20 donation with proceeds to benefit children receiving services from Allegheny County Juvenile Probation and Department of Human Services.  Rusted Root really don’t play together much anymore, except for special performances for worthwhile causes.  So it’s a great opportunity to see them.

Shadyside’s big Art Festival on Walnut Street is the Saturday (10 am till 9 pm) and Sunday (10 am till 5 pm).  this 15th annual event will be featuring 150 artists from 30 states with obviously a plethora of offerings from $25 to $30,000 in all mediums.  They are now produced by Howard Alan Events, a Florida art show exhibit producer.  I haven’t been there for a while, but can attest they do get quality artwork there.

The Renaissance Festival is being held each weekend in September again this year in West Newton (exit 51A of Interstate 70).  Admission is $16.95 for adults and $8 for kids at the door ($14.95 and $7 in advance) and gives you access to all activities, the space was increased 33% for this year’s Fest with new stages and more vendors/participants.  You can come in costume or as you are.  They will have fire eaters, jousters, music, food vendors, even the Washing Well Wenches comedy act will return.  More info at their web site or by calling 724.872.1670.

Coming up soon is the Mexican War Streets Annual House Tour on September 9.  Tickets are $20 at the door and $18 in advance.  This self guided tour highlights select houses and gardens.  In the past they also featured an art show and flea market on Monterrey Street, I don’t know if they are doing this again.  More info at their web site.

Venture Outdoors is featuring a family & community festival this Sunday down the street in Allegheny Commons from from 1 pm till 5 pm. There will be kayaking on Lake Elizabeth, treasure hunts, biking events, rock climbing and more.  More info at their web site.

Well, I’ve given you lots to do this weekend, enjoy 🙂


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