In light of the current economy, it’s time to revisit that old saying, “The best things in life are free.” In my mind, this saying usually brings images of sunshine, fresh air and dandelions which of course are awfully NICE, but not quite what I was hoping for to help save me a buck. But wait! Try FREE MOVIES! FREE CONCERTS! FREE….OPERA? Don’t forget, you live in scenic and lovely PITTSBURGH, where free summer events are abundant.

Three Rivers Arts Festival
festivalThree Rivers Arts Festival quickly grew from a “little outdoor art show” to what is today the region’s largest multidisciplinary showcase of visual art and performing arts. Despite a rapid growth, the Festival’s mission to connect the community to arts and culture has remained consistent throughout the event’s 50-year history. This 50th anniversary marks the long awaited return of Three Rivers Arts Festival to the newly revitalized Point State Park, where the Dollar Bank Main Stage, an expanded Artists Market footprint and the Children’s Area are located. Through the continued use of Gateway Center and the addition of the gallery-and-theater network found in the Cultural District, thousands will discover–as they journey from exhibition spaces to restaurants, theaters, live stages and gathering places–why Pittsburgh is credited as one of the strongest cultural destinations in the country.

Allegheny County Summer Concert Series 2009hartwood
Each summer, Allegheny County hosts a series of free summer concerts at various parks and other locations around the Pittsburgh area. All performances in the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series are free and open to the public. Highlights for 2009 include alt-country stalwarts Steve Earle, Son Volt and the Old 97s. Old favorites such as the Pittsburgh Symphony and River City Brass Band will be joined by former Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor, Irish folk-rocker Luk Bloom and classic rock band, Foghat. Full schedules for Hartwood Acres, South Park and North Park can be found by clicking here.

Cinema in the Park
cinemaGrab a blanket and head out for an unforgettable evening of cinema under the stars. The 2009 “Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park” schedule will include Slumdog Millionaire, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia!, WALL-E, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and many other current movie favorites for all members of the family. Check out the movie schedule by clicking on the name of the park closest to you: Flagstaff Hill, Riverview Park, Grandview Park in Mt. Washington, Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Brookline Memorial Park, East Liberty or West End/Elliott Overlook. For more information, call 412-937-3039.

Thanks for the free summer fun, Pittsburgh!

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