It's been a little quiet at Heinz Field, but that will change this weekend for the annual Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival.
The event will feature national rib vendors, live music and, of course, some football. Here's the schedule:
Thursday: The festival opens at noon, and then at 7 p.m. the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Carolina Panthers in the final preseason matchup.
Friday: The Great Hall of Heinz Field will be open to the public from noon-midnight, and The Clarks will hit the Heinz Field stage at 7:30 p.m. for a free concert.
Saturday: The Pitt Panthers open their season at 6 p.m. against Youngstown State University. At the nearby Stage AE, there's a ticketed show with Pretty Lights (more below).
Sunday: The Gatorade/Steelers 5K gets under way at 9 a.m., and Steelers mascot Steely McBeam will be on hand to meet fans. Also on Sunday, the youth of Steelers Nation hits Heinz Field for two separate youth football camps. The first session runs from 1-3 p.m. and the second session from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Then, rock band .38 Special, best known for the songs "Hold on Loosely" and "Caught up in You," will perform at 7:30 p.m.
Monday: Steely McBeam will be on hand from noon-4 p.m. From 1-3 p.m., a final youth camp football session will take place at Heinz Field before musician Uncle Kracker takes the stage at 4 p.m.
The games, of course, require tickets. The festival is free and open from noon-midnight today through Saturday; 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday; and noon-7 p.m. on Monday. Information: www. heinzfieldribfest.com.
South Park ribs
That's not only the barbecue afoot. There's the football-free South Park Rib & Wing Challenge in South Park.
Along with the ribs, daily events include the Amazing Animal Zone Barnyard Petting Zoo, Barnyard Pony Rides, the Future Skate Ice Rink, a Home and Garden Center and craft market.
On Friday, there is live music all day, with headliners The Farm, plus a wing eating contest at 6:30 p.m., followed by The Newlywed Game at 7:30.
On Saturday at 8:45 p.m., the headliner is the Arizona band the Gin Blossoms, who gave us "Hey Jealousy."
On Sunday at 8:45 p.m., it's the Little River Band ("Reminiscing"), the band Will Ferrell kept playing to annoy partner Mark Wahlberg in the movie "The Other Guys." On Sunday, there also will be a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m.
The festival wraps up on Monday with former Bad Company replacement singer Brian Howe at 6:45 p.m. There is also a Bike Rally that starts at Hot Metal Harley at noon.
If you'd rather party like it's 1776, the 19th annual Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Colonial Festival is in session at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds with more than 500 artisans donning period clothing and exhibitors from 20 states peddling their wares.
The treasures include home decorations, clothing, scented candles, stained glass, jewelry, functional and decorative wood and gourmet pre-packaged foods.
The Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department Pipes & Drums will perform Saturday and Sunday. Festival features include the Carpenter's Battery, CSA military encampment and living history demonstrations, plus musical performances by Beaver Creek and Acoustic Shadows of the Blue & Gray (Saturday through Monday) and the Westland Flute Choir (Saturday and Sunday).
Kids can have their faces painted by colonial clowns Glitter Dot & Dapper, feed the animals at the Greenfield Farms petting zoo (Saturday through Monday) and enjoy the 'Wild World of Animals' show and 'The Bug Lady' shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday. Admission is $6; $5.50 seniors; $1 kids (6-12). Information: www.familyfestivals.com.
Sailing the Clipper
Looking to sail the three rivers on Labor Day Weekend? Kids 12 and under ride for only $1 on any sightseeing cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper Saturday through Monday.
Here is the schedule:
Goodship Lollipop Cruise: 11 a.m., 12:15, 1:30 and 2:45 p.m.
Evening Sightseeing Cruise: 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Goodship Lollipop Cruise 11 a.m., 12:15, 1:30, 2:45 and 4 p.m.
Ice Cream Social Cruise: 1:30 p.m.
Evening Sightseeing Cruise: 6, 7 and 8 p.m.
Goodship Lollipop Cruise: 11 a.m., 12:15, 1:30, 2:45 and 4 p.m.
Information: 412-355-7980 or Gatewayclipper.com.
Muscle. And more muscle.
It will be on display this weekend at the GNC 2012 IFBB North American Championships in the grand ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel Station Square.
More than 600 amateur men and women bodybuilders and fitness, figure, bikini and physique athletes from the United States, Canada and Mexico will compete in several divisions and age groups.
Prejudging for women competitors begins at 9 a.m. Friday followed by the finals at 5 p.m. Men's prejudging begins at 9 a.m. Saturday followed by the finals at 5 p.m.
Tickets, available at the door, are $30 for the prejudging and $60 for the finals. Information: garyudit.com.
Lido at Leslie
The decommissioned Leslie Park Pool in Lawrenceville with be the scene for a twilight reception for "Project: Lido," an event that promises "ephemeral art, exceptional conversation, and an evocative soundtrack by Edgar Um." Curated by Amanda Donnan (of Carnegie Museum of Art) and produced by the LESLIE Collective, it will feature installations by 13 artists, from organic sculptures to performance and video projects.
The artists are Nina Marie Barbuto, Chris Beauregard, Brian Brown, Felipe Castelblanco, Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Cara Erskine, Suzie Silver with Scott Andrew, and Harrison Apple, Tobias Madison, Stephanie Ross, and Shaun Slifer/Jessica McPherson.
It runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and it is free.
Austin's Indie River
Okkervil River, the Austin indie-rock band led by the charismatic Will Sheff, plays Mr. Smalls at 8 tonight, touring on the latest album "I Am Very Far," which Spin called "simultaneously raw and symphonic ... recalling Dylan in deep basement mode."
Mr. Sheff, who produced an album for 13th Floor Elevators singer Roky Erickson in 2010, told The Advocate, "I want to be open to that wild, anything goes energy. Roky will take a song to a place that he didn't know existed. He'll open up a whole new area in your mind, take a crazy left turn. It feels unsafe and alive and not entirely accessible sometimes. I want to do my own organic, inward-originating version of that."
The concert starts at 8 p.m. with the Mynabirds as opening act. Tickets are $16. Call 1-866-468-3401.
The 2012 Simon GamePlay Tour, which connects fans to video games not yet available in stores, comes to the Center Court in Ross Park Mall during regular mall hours today.
More than 900,000 gamers at Simon properties nationwide participated in the free event last year. Gamers are encouraged to bring their Nintendo 3DS for the gaming lounge at the center of this year's tour, while a Nintendo Zone includes 3-D videos, demos and trivia challenges.
The tour offers 10 gaming pods, including two mature zones, with a variety of products from video-gaming leaders such as 2K Play, Capcom, Eidos, SEGA, Namco-Bandai, Warner Brothers Interactive, THQ, 2K, Atari and Edios/Square Enix. Visitors can also demo Tunnel Tail, a mobile gaming app launching this summer.
Stage AE will be a guitar-free zone on Saturday for Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, an electronic musician/producer from Fort Collins, Colo., who is joined live by drummer Adam Deitch.
Pretty Lights rose to fame playing late-night parties with The Disco Biscuits, Widespread Panic and STS9, combining of glitch-hop, grime, buzzing synths and vintage funk and soul samples. It has gone on to play such festivals as Bonnaroo, Coachella and the Ultra Music Festival.
Pretty Lights will be previewing material from a forthcoming album.
"I've been hard at work on a new album for more than a year," Mr. Smith said in a tour release. "I've completely switched up my process of producing and composing. It is being created from all originally composed samples off of self-made vinyl and all analog modular synthesis. It's prolific, conceptual, consistent, yet extremely diverse, and a real substantial piece of music you can sink your teeth into. The Illumination Tour will be the place to hear (and see) a lot of what this upcoming PL release has in store."
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts with Paul Basic. Tickets are $30 advance; $35 day of show. 1-800-745-3000.
Shakespeare in the Parks
Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks opens season No. 8 of free plays in city parks with "The Tempest." At 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, The Bard makes his mark on the Blue Slide Park that enjoyed a recent profile boost from a Mac Miller album. The venue fronts upper Frick Park at Beechwood Boulevard and Nicholson Street, Squirrel Hill. The play returns to the site Sept. 22 and 23.
Audience members are advised to bring a blanket and be prepared for the show to go on in any kind of weather. Director Alan Irvine and a cast of nine, including actor-magician Michael Mykita as Prospero, romp in the playground wearing designs by Lisa Leibering.
In "The Tempest," enemies who stole Prospero's kingdom are now in his power, shipwrecked on his island of exile. This is the play that brought us lines such as, "We are such stuff./As dreams are made on, and our little life/Is rounded with a sleep."
Other performances of "The Tempest" are Sept. 8-9 at Arsenal Park, 39th and Butler streets, Lawrenceville, and Sept. 15-16, Allegheny Commons West Park, West North Avenue and Brighton Road, North Side. Information: www.pittsburghshakespeare.com.
NEED TO KNOW
• Pittsburgh's annual Labor Day Parade starts in the parking lot that used to be the Civic Arena at 10 a.m. Monday and travels primarily down the Boulevard of the Allies, honoring the men and women whose efforts have helped build and sustain America and the region.
• The Hitmen -- featuring original members of Tommy James and the Shondells and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons -- close out the free Allegheny County concert series at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hartwood Acres.
• The Rivers Casino Live on the River series presents free tributes to the Temptations and Earth, Wind & Fire at 7 p.m. Saturday, and and tributes to the Eagles and Styx at 7 p.m. Sunday.
• The WYEP Presents Final Fridays continues at Schenley Plaza, Oakland, at 7 p.m. Friday with a free concert by Massachusetts chamber-pop band Winterpills. Information: www.wyep.org.
• Refitnessing awaits in "STRATA," the mysterious, multilayered, years-in-the-making interactive experience by Bricolage and a host of collaborators. Start on your path to iConsciousness tonight through Saturday by accessing stratapittsburgh.com or calling 412-471-0999.
• The CLO Cabaret presents Theo Allyn and Christine Laitta as they reveal the secret comedy of women this weekend in "Girls Only," at the Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown. The show wraps up 7:30 today and Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $34.75-$44.75 at pittsburghclo.org or 412-456-6666.
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Reviews of "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron," "Sound Shapes," and "Hybrid."
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