At Picklesburgh, you can walk under a giant Heinz pickle while eating various items expertly brined in dill and vinegar, like asparagus, green beans and, of course, cucumbers. If you aren’t afraid of your friends seeing you gorging on pickled pizza or stuffing your face through a giant cardboard cutout of a pickle, this is the place for you.
The event takes place in the heart of Pittsburgh (hence the pun in the name). As silly as it sounds, Picklesburgh really seems like it knows what it’s doing. The festival was recently voted “2023 Best Specialty Food Festival in America” by USA Today, going up against events in Chicago, Dallas and Hawaii. This is their third time winning; they took the title in 2019 and 2021, too.
If eating pickled vegetables doesn’t satiate your desire for brine, you can sign up to participate in a pickle juice drinking contest, where, apparently, contestants compete for “honor, glory and pickled pride.” The winner will achieve the great prestige of being elected the mayor of Picklesburgh. You must be 18 years old to compete.
The festival also has live music, specialty cocktails and a place for kids, fittingly called the Li’l Gherkins KidsPlay Activity Area. There’s a whole host of pre-events happening in early July, too, like Taste of Picklesburgh, which highlights local chefs preparing an array of pickled-themed foods, and the “Pickles and Giggles Comedy Showcase” on July 14.
- Picklesburgh takes place on the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. While the event doesn’t list a capacity, I assume it gets as full as the streets will allow.
- Tickets: Admission is free!
- If you get sick of pickles and want something else, check out this guide to Pittsburgh’s best pizza.
(WARNING: There’s some pretty bad pickle puns in this local newscast from last year’s event.)