Ribs and rock
Ribs, rock and football collide at Heinz Field this weekend with the Kickoff and Rib Festival, featuring five days of smoky fun.
It begins tonight with Pittsburgh legends Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, who have certainly made the rounds this summer. Shari Richards opens at 7 p.m.
A slightly younger Pittsburgh institution, the Clarks, bang out homegrown roots-rock Friday night at 9, with Tres Lads at 7:30.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., the Pittsburgh Panthers kick off their season against Youngstown State, with a postgame concert at 7:30 p.m. by Vanessa Campagna and Jack Ingram, a country rocker who has a new album and hit single, "Barefoot and Crazy," out on Toby Keith's label.
On Sunday at 9 p.m., Grand Funk Railroad, led these days by Max Carl, not Mark Farner, rolls in with such hits as "We're an American Band" and "Locomotion." Jill West and the Blues Attack opens at 7:30 p.m.
On Monday at 5:30 p.m., it's back to the country with Eric Church, who recently played the bass fishing tournament, and is on the country charts with "Love Your Love the Most," the first single off his second album. Bon Journey plays at 3:30 p.m.
Along with music and nationally known ribbers, fans will be treated to Steelers memorabilia, including the six Super Bowl trophies.
Hours are 3 to 11 p.m. today and Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and noon to 7 p.m. Monday. Admission is free. Go to www.steelers.com.
The Westmoreland Fairgrounds will look like the setting of "1776" this weekend for the 16th annual Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Colonial Festival, with more than 500 artisans from 19 states in period clothing.
The marketplace will offer seasonal home decorations, clothing, candles, stained glass, jewelry, decorative painting, ceramics, flags, gourmet pre-packaged foods and more.
Adding to the pioneer feel will be musical performances, the Kanawha Artillery military encampment and living history demonstrations. Other attractions include colonial clowns Glitter Dot & Dapper, the Kidders & Kritters Petting Zoo and the "Wild World of Animals Show" and "The Bug Lady" shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. Admission is $5.50; $5 seniors; $1 kids 6-12. Go to www.familyfestivals.com or call 724-863-4577.
Ten photographers exhibiting in "Self Portrait: Silver Eye at 30," an inward look at the venerable organization through members' eyes, will talk about their works at 7 tonight at Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. Speaking will be Karen Antonelli, Sandra Moore, John Fobes, Shirleah Kelly, Michael Rosella, Ruthanne Bauerle, Malgorzata Mosied, Lori Hepner, Bernie Peace and Tim Doyle. Free; 412-431-1810.
The Sweetwater Center for the Arts will open the 13th annual Mavuno Festival of African American Art & Culture with the First Fruit XIII Exhibition, featuring artwork by African-American artists and those celebrating African-American culture. It's being juried by members of the regional artist group Women of Visions, Inc. It opens Friday, but the reception is Sept. 25 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Carrying on a tradition begun in the 19th century, Mendelson Gallery will host a "Salon Des Refusee" featuring works that were overlooked by the juror for the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual Exhibition, which opened last weekend at Carnegie Museum of Art. The Salon opening, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at 5874 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside, is free; 412-361-8664.
The Union Project in Highland Park is the scene Saturday for Crafts N'at, a showcase of more than 50 independent vendors, with demonstrations, live performances, a ticket auction and raffle, and an outdoor BBQ. Proceeds will benefit the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and "[gravity + grace]", a contemporary opera written by Frank Ferraro that will premiere Sept. 25 at Shady Side Academy's Hillman Center For Performing Arts. Crafts N'at runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 801 Negley Ave.
'Love' in the park
Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks celebrates its fifth anniversary by presenting "Love's Labour's Lost" in Frick, Mellon, and Kennard parks during four weekends in September.
The free shows, all at 2 p.m., will be Sept. 5 and 6 in upper Frick Park, near the Blue Slide playground; Sept. 12 and 13 in Mellon Park, Sept. 19 and 20 in Kennard Park in the Hill District, and then returns to Frick Sept. 26 and 27. Donations are encouraged.
"Love's Labour's Lost" is open to all ages.
Artistic director Jennifer Tober encourages audience members to "bring a blanket, a thermos, and a loved one," and says to expect to be a part of the action and move about the parks, as the actors rove to settings appropriate to each scene.
Only heavy rain or dangerous conditions deter Shakespeare in the Parks production. "We've performed in a drizzle ... and in the mud," Tober said.
Melissa Hill Grande (of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre and Phase 3 Productions) debuts with the company as director. The cast includes Douglas Baker, Sara Lamb, Joanna Getting, Tonya Lynn, Michelina Pollini, Adam Rutledge, Kaitlin Mausser, Laura Lee Brautigam, Emily Kolb, Rosh Raines, Eric James Davidson, Anna Gilchrist, Gabriel Proietti, Adam Hoak, Andrew Huntley and Deanna Tangeman. Rachel Parent is the costumer, and Kaitlin Mausser is choreographer.
More info at www.pittsburghshakespeare.com.
-- Sharon Eberson
Root at Hartwood
The last time Rusted Root played Hartwood Acres, there was much dancing and singing in the rain. As fun as that might have been for the band's free-spirited following, a little sun would be nice for its Hartwood show Sunday.
The concert is a benefit for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to purchase things that are not available through government funding, such as dance lessons, karate, art supplies and sporting equipment for neglected and special-needs children.
The current Root is down to three core members from the early days -- Michael Glabicki, Liz Berlin and Patrick Norman -- bolstered by electric guitarists Colter Harper and Dirk Miller, drummer Jason Miller and percussionist Preach Freedom.
In May, the band independently released "Stereo Rodeo," its first new studio album in seven years. Asked about this more souped-up electric Rusted Root, Glabicki says, "When I was writing those tunes I had that in mind, that real wide guitar landscape. As I was even playing acoustic, I would kind of hear it in stereo, guitars on the right, guitars on the left."
The new Root takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.
Admission to the concert is $20 per car.
• San Diego alt-rock band Switchfoot -- best known for the singles "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move" -- plays a show at Robert Morris University's Sewall Center in Moon Sunday at 7 p.m. with Holler and Wild Rose. Tickets are $30 at the door.
• The 25th annual Labor Day Parade, sponsored by the Allegheny County Labor Council, steps off at 10 a.m. Monday from Mellon Arena and proceeds along Centre Avenue to Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies, ending at Gateway Center.