Pittsburghers do things their own way: From wearing shorts in the winter to lagging in front of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. Whether you’ve lived in Pittsburgh for a few years or a few decades, you’ve likely participated in some of the city’s finest traditions. Here are just 11 of the best Pittsburgh traditions.
1. The Terrible Towel
Pittsburgh's a sports town, although some will say it's really a football town. One of the most recognized symbols in Pittsburgh sports is, of course, the Terrible Towel, waved by Steelers fans cheering on their team at Heinz Field, at home, and at bars and restaurants across the city.
2. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Nothing stops Pittsburgh from having its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade -
nothing. Even as the Blizzard of '93 dumped snow on the city, the parade marched on as always, albeit to smaller than normal crowds.
3. New Year’s Eve Countdown
Pennsylvania boasts some pretty unique New Year's Eve drops: A wrench, a mushroom, and a Hershey kiss, to name just a few. Pittsburgh, however, has its own tradition of sending the ball skyward to announce the arrival of a new year. The reason the ball goes up? To signify that we're moving onward and upward to better things.
4. New Year’s Day Dinner
Only one meal signifies the start of a new year and that's a Pennsylvania (and a Pittsburgh) tradition. Pittsburghers gather round the dinner table on New Year's Day to eat the traditional meal of pork and sauerkraut.
5. Kennywood Picnic
Every Pittsburgher has gone to a Kennywood picnic - whether for school or for work - at least once. Most of us who grew up in the Burgh went to Kennywood, wearing the same "Kennywood outfit" as our best pals, every year for our school's picnic.
6. Light Up Night
The holiday season officially starts when the fireworks explode at the annual Light Up Night in downtown Pittsburgh, a spectacular celebration that features a full menu of activities, including ice skating at PPG Place, ice sculpting, and live entertainment.
7. Cookie Tables
Celebrating a new marriage has an extra layer of sweetness in Pittsburgh. Cookie tables at wedding receptions are a Southwestern Pennsylvania tradition.
Pittsburghers sure know how to tailgate, whether it's before a Steelers, a Pens, or a Bucs game or prior to a concert. The tailgating tradition in Pittsburgh typically means good food, good drink, and plenty of socializing.
9. Friday Night Football
Friday night in the fall means high school football in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. The local stations even have creatively appropriate names for their coverage, such as WTAE's "Operation Football."
10. Fries On Top
It's a Burgh thing, started by Primanti Brothers decades ago. Most people have fries on the side but Pittsburghers put their fries on top of their sandwiches and their salads.
11. Church and Community Festivals
Sure, plenty of Pittsburghers flock to Kennywood, Idlewild, and Sandcastle every summer. Just as the summer's heating up, however, the church fairs and community festivals begin. And you know what those fairs mean? Delicious food. Games of chance. Bingo. Rides and the chance for the community to come together to socialize.
What do you think are the best Pittsburgh traditions that might belong is a part two of this list? Share below! Then
check out the nine dishes all Pittsburghers must try at least once in their lives.