Some 5,000 brewers are headed to Pittsburgh next month, followed by 700 truckers, 13,000 Christian women and one giant rubber duck.
These were just a few of the calendar items highlighted Tuesday by VisitPittsburgh during its "Fall Forecast" for 150 hoteliers, food and drink purveyors and other hospitality partners gathered at the Marriott City Center for a look at what they should expect in the coming season.
"VisitPittsburgh is helping to get the word out," said Craig Davis, president and CEO. "Our marketing department is busy with advertising campaigns in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. And, new this year, we've expanded to Erie and Washington, D.C."
Among the conventions headed this way in September are the North American Brewers Labatt Summer Promotion at the Wyndham Grand; the American Trucking Association at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Women of Faith Believe Conference at the Petersen Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
In October, some 10,000 members of the Energy Action Coalition are expected at the convention center (organizers have said that peaceful protests may ensue).
That same week, the "Remaking Cities Congress" will bring hundreds of international leaders to ponder the future of former industrial centers using Pittsburgh as a model for revitalization.
Also coming are 2,800 attendees of the American Physical Society's Conference in November.
Professional and collegiate sports are always a draw for large crowds, but this year has two extra boosts: The Pirates pursuing their first winning season in decades, and the Pitt Panthers' first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
One-of-a-kind arts and cultural events should bring in thousands of visitors for the Carnegie International and the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, which will launch with the Rubber Duck Project by Dutch artist Florentijn Hoffman, with a 35-foot-high yellow duckie floating on the Allegheny River.
Events are in the works for two anniversary celebrations -- the Pittsburgh Opera turns 75 and Pittsburgh Transportation Co., owner of Yellow Cab, is celebrating its centennial.
Market Square will see its second Holiday Market, sponsored by Peoples Natural Gas, this time opening a week earlier, in time for Black Friday, with more vendors offering holiday gifts from around the world.
Also in store are the perennial favorites of Light-Up Night on Nov. 22 and First Night, sponsored by Highmark and presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, on New Year's Eve.
"We are thrilled that Pittsburgh is the host city for these fantastic events," Mr. Davis said. "The region's 30-year investment in the arts and culture industry has paid off."
Sally Kalson: email@example.com or 412-263-1610. First Published August 28, 2013 4:00 AM