What to do that week, from the Nice Race to the Pittsburgh Pierogi Competition to Opening Weekend at Heinz Corridor

What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, September 20-26? Find out here. Be sure to pack your mask and visit each organization’s website and social media for updated Covid safety protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Monday, September 20: Pittsburgh Coffee Week
9 a.m.-9 p.m.
You’ve got five more days to drink all the coffee during this citywide block party. The bean bash is highlighting outdoor events and numerous local partners and vendors — from KLVN, Commonplace and Tonic to Trace Brewing and De Fer Coffee & Tea. There’s something for every java fanatic to taste, smell and discover with daily themed events like coffee and cocktail pairings, sensory experiences, an industry night and more.

Monday, September 20: B-PEP JAZZ Fun-raiser at Heinz History Center
5:30-11:30 p.m.
Start your week off on a jazzy note. Celebrating the organization’s 35th anniversary, the Black Political Empowerment Project is presenting a star-studded concert and awards ceremony featuring performances by more than 70 jazz luminaries. Buy tickets.

Monday, September 20: Digital-ed Out: Strategies for Digital Overload
6-8 p.m.
Are you experiencing digital burnout? Artist and educator Gil Teixeira is here to help us all achieve a balance between virtual worlds and human existence. A native of Portugal, Teixeira has conducted extensive research on the impact of the digital revolution on human life as part of his multimedia performance, “The Mind-Body Problem.” The online workshop will include reflection activities, practical tips and group discussions. Buy tickets.

Monday, September 20: Mai Khoi: Bad Activist
7 p.m.
City of Asylum’s first exiled musician in residence will present “Bad Activist,” an autobiographical performance combining storytelling, state-of-the-art production, lost Vietnamese musical traditions, jazz and political lyrics. The work examines Mai Khoi’s own journey from “renowned to Vietnamese pop star to dissident activist.” Watch live at Alphabet City or virtually as part of the monthlong Jazz Poetry Festival. Register for free.

Monday, September 20: Virtual Talk by Brit Bennett
7:30 p.m.
For its next virtual talk, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures’ Ten Evenings series welcomes New York Times bestselling author Brit Bennett. Spanning the 1950s to the 1990s from the Deep South to California, Bennett’s latest book, “The Vanishing Half,” examines the American history of passing through the poignant story of twin sisters. Buy tickets.

Tuesday, September 22: Paved Paradise on Foreland Street
1-9 p.m.
Joni Mitchell may have predicted the future, but for one night on the North Side, a concrete parking lot will become a vinyl lover’s mecca. The traveling pop-up shop and record label expo will showcase releases from Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Ghostly International, Numero Group and Secretly Canadian. Setting up next to Allegheny City Brewing, the event will include DJs, the Benvenuti’s Pizza Factory Truck and music from The Government Center.

Tuesday, September 21: Pittsburgh Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Virtual Rally
6-8 p.m.
Be inspired by women leaders who are working to eliminate disparities in healthcare. Panelists will share their career journeys and how they are creating an inclusive and equitable healthcare system. Hosted by the local chapter of Women In Bio, the online event will include breakout networking rooms and an award presentation for excellence in life sciences. Register for free.

Tuesday, September 21: In Conversation: Hood Ornaments and Hip Hop Culture
7 p.m.
Explore connections between hood ornaments, car culture, branding and hip hop during this online discussion hosted by The Frick Pittsburgh. Held in conjunction with Cast in Chrome: The Art of Hood Ornaments, on view now at the Car and Carriage Museum, the conversation will be led by artist and activist Paradise Gray — who is curator of The Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx — and 1Hood Media artist and educator Treble NLS. Register for free.

Thursday, September 23: Cafe IW: Greenwood Week
8:30-9:30 a.m.
Innovation Works is teaming up with The Greenwood Plan to spotlight its upcoming conference and commitment to help Black entrepreneurs succeed. Moderated by Jane Joseph of Innovation Works, the conversation will feature Greenwood co-founders Samantha Black and Khamil Scantling. Register for free and submit questions for the Q&A.

Thursday, September 23: Pittsburgh Opera in Market Square
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Infuse your lunch hour with a side of opera. While shopping for the freshest goods at the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Downtowners will be treated to a free open-air concert by Pittsburgh Opera’s talented 2021-22 Resident Artists.

Thursday, September 23: One Bite One Day at Nova Place
6-9 p.m.
Enjoy culinary delights crafted by top Pittsburgh chefs and bartenders while supporting families in need. A one-of-a-kind showcase of locally-made dishes and drinks, this gastronomical gala raises critical funds for One Day to Remember, a Pittsburgh nonprofit dedicated to giving children who have a parent with incurable cancer “one fun day to make memories as a family.” The festivities will include a silent auction, entertainment and stories from parents. Buy tickets.

The Turpentiners. Photo courtesy of Calliope.

September 23: The Turpentiners at Schenley Plaza
7 p.m.
Welcome fall with Calliope and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and a free concert by The Turpentiners. The Pittsburgh-based acoustic five-piece will lull audiences with their soulful repertoire spanning traditional Americana to blues to good-time country to rural swing. A cash bar will be provided by The Porch at Schenley Plaza.

Thursday, September 23: Thumbscrew with City of Asylum
7 p.m.
Get a sneak peek of the upcoming album by the contemporary jazz trio Thumbscrew, featuring Mary Halvorson (guitar), Michael Formanek (double bass) and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). Recorded during the final days of the group’s City of Asylum residency, the virtual concert will showcase new material as part of monthlong Jazz Poetry Festival. Register for free.

Friday, September 24: Stop Motion Mania Family Night at Carrie Carpool Cinema
6:15-11:15 p.m.
Gather the entire clan for a double feature drive-in like no other. With the dramatic Carrie Blast Furnaces as your backdrop, families will experience the exquisitely animated worlds and immersive adventures of Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox. The animated shorts Head Over Heels and From Dad to Son will be screened before the features. Buy tickets.

Propelled Animals. Photo courtesy of Dan Lapman.

Friday, September 24: Propelled Animals at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater
7 p.m.
Experience a love letter to Pittsburgh when the artist collective Propelled Animals premieres its latest project, “Switch Signal.” Shot in 2021 on location at the KST, Carrie Furnaces and in the Hill District, the site-specific film is “rooted in the technologies of imagination and mindfulness taught by Mister Rogers” and explores listening, movement, music, the global pandemic and more. Buy tickets.

Friday, September 24: Plus One at Attack Theatre
7:30 p.m.
After years of searching for a permanent home, Attack Theatre is ready to debut its new HQ and newest project — and you’re invited to the celebration. Equal parts dance drama and social event, “Plus One” was created in collaboration with acclaimed NYC-based choreographer, Antonio Brown. After months of social distancing, the work will examine ideas about otherness and belonging, public and family gatherings, memories and more. Audiences can attend in person on online. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of Attack Theatre.

Friday, September 24: Opening Weekend Celebration at Heinz Hall
8 p.m.
Drum roll please … after 18 months of empty stages and darkened theaters, Manfred Honeck returns to Heinz Hall to conduct Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Running for three performances this weekend, the opening celebration production will also feature Hélène Grimaud performing Ravel’s jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G. Buy tickets.

Saturday, September 25: Tour the Montour Ride
7:15 a.m.
Hop on two wheels to traverse the country’s longest suburban rail trail — and help keep it maintained for future generations — when this major cycling event rolls again. The premier fundraiser for the Montour Trail Council — the all-volunteer nonprofit that manages the amenity — the ride begins at mile zero in Coraopolis. With four different routes to choose from, the event will include rest stops with snacks and beverages, raffles and a Pittsburgh-themed post-race lunch. Register here.

Photo courtesy of the Montour Trail Council.

Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26: The Great Race
Various times
The starting gun will sound again when the beloved Great Race returns to usher in the fall running season. After a year of virtual stats, it’s time to take your place IRL at the starting line. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a rookie runner, there’s an event just for you — with a 10K, 5K, One Mile Family Fun Run, Tot Trot and Diaper Dash race options. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Richard S. Caliguiri Amyloidosis Fund. Register now.

Saturday, September 25: Mon-Valley Arts Festival
12-7 p.m.
There are so many reasons to visit West Mifflin today. The historic Allegheny County Airport is turning 90 years young by unveiling its new renovations and the West Mifflin Community Foundation is hosting a free festival with local art, vendors selling art, food trucks, live music and more.

Saturday, September 25: Forge Fest at Community Forge
2-10 p.m.
Welcome fall and celebrate community in Wilkinsburg. Co-produced by Jaquea Mae and Jordan Montgomery of Driving While Black Records, the free festival boasts a lineup of local musicians, DJs, artists, food vendors, prizes and family activities.


Photo courtesy of the Etna Community Organization.

Saturday, September 25: Etna Art Tour
4-9 p.m.
Explore the artsy side of Etna. The outdoor-focused festival will feature two stages with bands, dance performances, drum groups and more. Celebrate all things Etna as you visit displays from local artists and businesses such as Kiya Tomlin’s Work Shop and Jamilka Borges’ new restaurant Wild Child.

Saturday, September 25: Night of Steel at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
7-11 p.m.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia chapter welcomes the community back in person for its signature benefit bash. Overlooking the city at the convention center’s from the rooftop bar, gala-goers will enjoy live entertainment, creative cocktails, music by DJ Loyal and a silent auction — all to help cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Buy tickets.

Sunday, September 26: Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival at Kennywood
1-6 p.m.
Pittsburgh’s favorite amusement park is teaming up with Pittsburgh’s favorite food to serve up traditional, multicultural and contemporary takes on fall’s perfect comfort dish. Whether you like your dumplings cooked the classic church basement way using grandma’s time-honored recipe — or dressed up with a fresh new flavor — you’ll find something here to satisfy your pierogi palate. Anything goes inside a pierogi at this imaginative feast — from beer, bacon and jalapeños, to jackfruit, seafood and brisket. Be an adventurous eater and try pierogi-themed cupcakes, crepes, tacos, sundaes and even “smoky rogi sliders.” Buy tickets.

Sunday, September 26: The Mavericks at the Byham Theater
8 p.m.
For three decades and counting, The Mavericks have captivated audiences with their mix of American country, Tex-Mex, Latin and rockabilly sounds. Founded in 1989 in Miami, the Grammy-winning group recently released “En Español,” its first album entirely in Spanish. Buy tickets.

For more events, read 13 September events not to miss in Pittsburgh — and most are outdoors. For live music, check out 20 must-see live music events this September in Pittsburgh.

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