Perhaps it's because Celebrate Fairfax is only days away, but I'm getting into the festival mood. I also realize that it's unlikely I'll be able to visit Pittsburgh this summer (this year?) and that makes me a little sad. Therefore, why not put the two together. That's right. I want to create a Pittsburgh festival in the Washington, DC area.
I could worry about the details like location (Dulles Expo Center?), insurance, security, etc., but today, I'm going to be an ideas man. There are thousands of Pittsburgh transplants that live in the Washington area (see the 2008 Steelers game at FedEx Field and the Post-Gazette series detailing Pittsburghers that moved away) and even more if you expand this to Baltimore. Why not celebrate our Pittsburgh-ness and expose the city to the greater Washington DC area?
The first step would be to partner with Visit Pittsburgh, the official tourism office for Pittsburgh. They are the experts on all the great things to do and see in Pittsburgh.
Here is what else this festival should have (some of this is unrealistic but others could definitely work):
- Food: You can't have a Pittsburgh festival without Pittsburgh food. Primanti's sandwiches, Quaker Steak & Lube wings, hot dogs from The O, Potato Patch fries, Peppi's Roethlisburger, pierogies, Eat 'N Park Smiley Cookies, anything from the Oakmont Bakery, Prantl's Burnt Almond Torte, Vincent's pizza, Sarris Candies, Dave & Andy's ice cream and lots of Heinz condiments. Yes, there will be Iron City beer too. I'm getting hungry!
- Some type of presence from current or former Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. Heck, we can have some Riverhounds or Maulers too. Yes, I'll even allow a visit from Steely McBeam.
- We need to have some type of Kennywood exhibit. Maybe they can build The Racer or Thunderbolt for this festival.
- Music: Let's get Wiz Khalifa, Rusted Root, The Clarks and Mac Miller, who recently wrote "I am Pittsburgh" on Twitter.
- Admissions officers from Pitt, Duquesne, CMU, Robert Morris, Chatham, Point Park, and Carlow to help recruit high school students.
- Bring a dinosaur from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum. With the dinosaur hall at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History closed until 2019, folks in DC will want to see a real dinosaur skeleton.
- An exhibit from the Andy Warhol Museum.
- A Mister Rogers and/or Daniel Tiger exhibit. Mr. McFeely could make the trip to DC again.
- Birds from the National Aviary.
- Have a giant poster showing the view of Mt. Washington where people can take a picture standing in front of it.
- Booths from some of Pittsburgh's biggest employers such as UPMC, Giant Eagle, Highmark, US Steel, and PNC Financial Services to recruit potential employees.
What else would you want to see at a Pittsburgh festival? Do you think this could happen?