American Food Festivals - This four-day food celebration is in a city known for steel and pickles

When you ask someone what they think of when you mention the west Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh, they might say the National Football League team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Others recall Pittsburgh as the center of America's once mighty steel industry.

Even if the steel mills are gone, Pittsburgh will forever be tied to the industry that made the United States a powerful economic force. But another industry, or at least a major company, has roots in Pittsburgh.

Prepare for a unique experience at the 2024 Pickleburgh Festival, sponsored by the iconic Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz. This four-day event, kicking off on Thursday, July 18, is unlike any other food festival on our tour. 

While others were in smaller cities, Picklesburg is set in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, a major urban center. Also, even though the festival is relatively new compared to other festivals having started in 2015, it has quickly gained national stature. 

This event has two stages, where dozens of live music performances will be presented over the course of four days. Every major music style will be presented on the stages, from Country Western to Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll. 

As for food, there will be pickles all over the place, from fried pickles and pickles on a stick to pickle-flavored cotton candy! A wide array of pickles and pickle-themed packaged food items will be available from a wide variety of vendors. 

For those interested in competitive eating, there is a pickle juice drinking contest. This year, event organizers are also initiating a pickle bobbing and, naturally, a pickle-eating competitions. 

Cocktails will be served after 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and all day Sunday. Pickle-theme drinks will also be available for those enjoying the festivities.   

If pickles are your thing, Picklesburgh, which has been voted three times as USA Today's reader's favorite specialty food festival, then Pittsburgh is the place to be. 

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