The standard Picklesburgh competition celebrates meals and enjoyable • The Duquesne Duke

The Andy Warhol Bridge on the North Shore is full of vendors and diverse dining options, offering a range of options for a city centered experience.

Emma Poland | Layout editor


The Andy Warhol Bridge on the North Shore is full of vendors and diverse dining options, offering a range of options for a city centered experience.

A giant Heinz cucumber balloon floats proudly over the cucumber festival, an obvious symbol for the beginning of the event.

Last week, August 20-22, one of Pittsburgh’s most famous city events took place on the Andy Warhol Bridge: Picklesburgh.

Picklesburgh started in 2015, but the Pittsburgh community has been serving pickles to the world for much longer. HJ Heinz started his canned food business in the 1860s. Since then, Heinz’s products have expanded. Pittsburghers never forgot where it all began, however. The three-day pickle festival takes place just down the street from the old Heinz factory that has been converted into a museum.

Kylie Nucitelli, a sophomore Physicians’ Assistant, was visiting Picklesburgh for the first time this year. This event can be intense for some newcomers, but Nucitelli said, “If that’s the Pittsburgh atmosphere, then I’m absolutely in love with it.”

Nucitelli is not originally from the Pittsburgh area. Picklesburgh really was her first impression of the Pittsburgh community as her freshman was restricted by Covid-19. Really, nothing says “Pittsburgh Community” like a pickle festival.

“I love that it was a unique opportunity to bring the community together through something as random as pickles,” said Nucitelli.
As random as pickles may be, Picklesburgh’s creativity has earned it the # 1 Specialty Food Festival in the Country title from USA Today readers twice in his six years.

Some Pittsburghers, like Duquesne high school student Nina Merkle, visit Pickleburgh without a passionate devotion to pickles. Another benefit of this food festival is that it not only serves pickled delicacies but also a variety of other cultural foods from city vendors.

Merkle’s favorite food at the festival was the pierogies from the Polish supplier Gosia. Each order had the option of combining a variety of flavors, including sauerkraut and bacon potatoes. In addition to pierogi, festival-goers could also visit a candy stall, two fudge stalls, and cultural food stalls that smelled delicious (and not like pickles).

After trying the food, visitors could head to one of the Pickle merchandising stalls where they could buy pickle earrings, socks, stickers, magnets, or their own cucumber balloon. Live music from local bands provided additional entertainment. Free Heinz Pickle Pins are also available at every Picklesburgh celebration, making them perfect mini-keepsakes from that strangely rewarding day in the heat of August.

Another popular part of Picklesburgh is the pickle drink selection. At Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, people could buy a light green cream lemonade for just a few dollars. Goodlander Cocktail Brewery served hard lemonade with dill pickles, raspberries, and a cocktail with a range of rainbow pickles. Wigle Whiskey also performed with the fan-favorite eau de pickle spirit.

Xzavier Sciaretta, a new pharmacy student, was actually disappointed that he could no longer take part in the taste tests and stand-hopping in Picklesburgh: “I couldn’t make a lot of it because I’m not 21.”

While there are plenty of stalls to visit for the younger Picklesburgh visitors, cucumber-based alcoholic beverages are definitely a top attraction for older visitors.
With the giant cucumber soaring high over the Andy Warhol Bridge, it was hard to ignore the history of Pittsburgh this past weekend. With a community deeply rooted in its unique and subjectively delicious tradition, Pittsburgh shares its pickle pride with newcomers and local city dwellers alike.

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