Add some excitement to your spring and summer by exploring beyond the city limits. Celebrate the Martian New Year. Indulge in delicious food. And, kick up your heels and dance at some of the best small town festivals near Pittsburgh.
1. Mars New Year
Celebrate the annual Mars (planet) New Year in the charming town of Mars. The town of Mars marks the planet of Mars' 34th year from May 4-6, 2017 with a plethora of activities, including talks by NASA scientists, photos with the Mars spaceship, Make Planet Mars with the Carnegie Science Center, and the Butler County Community College blimp demo. Food vendors will also be on hand.
Mars New Year is set for Thursday, May 4, with the official Blast Off Dinner, Friday May 5 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Spirit of the River Festival
Journey to Ohiopyle - population 35 - for a celebration of local artists, musicians, and vendors. Listen to live music. Marvel at the unique work of the artists and browse the many vendor tents.
The Spirit of the River Festival is slated for Saturday, May 20, 2017 from noon to 7 p.m. The event will be held at Ohiopyle Stewart Community Center located at 15 Sherman Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470.
3. Johnstown Polkafest
Kick up your heels and celebrate the timeless Pennsylvania tradition of polka at the Johnstown Polkafest. Do the polka to - or simply listen to - live polka music from a variety of acts, including Rosie and the Jammers, the Johnstown Button Box, and the Rhinelanders. Bring your appetite for the authentic Polish and Slovenian food and browse the unique products of local vendors.
Polkafest is set for June 2-4, 2017. Admission is free.
4. Saltsburg Canal Days
Join Saltsburg residents for a celebration of the charming small town during the 36th Annual Historic Canal Days Festival. The popular festival features plenty to do for the entire family, including live entertainment, games, a fireman's parade, food, and fireworks.
The Historic Canal Days Festival will be held from June 2-4, 2017.
5. Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival
Trek to the charming town of Indiana for the annual Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival. Get a bird's eye view of Indiana aboard a plane during the airport festival that also features military and vintage aircraft displays, a classic cars display, family-friendly activities, and food vendors.
The Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival will be held at the Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Airport from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 10 and 11, 2017.
6. Blairsville Riverfront Music Festival
Head to Riverfront Park for the popular Blairsville Riverfront Music Festival. Enjoy a variety of genres of music - from rock to bluegrass. When you're not watching performances, check out the many food and product vendors and indulge in wine tasting.
The Blairsville Riverfront Music Festival is slated for June 17 and 18, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
7. Ellwood City Arts, Crafts, and Food Festival
Visit the 37th Annual Ellwood City Festival for three days of non-stop fun. Enjoy authentic ethnic food and cold drinks. Browse the many homemade arts and crafts from local vendors. And, watch a spectacular fireworks display on July 2 at 10 p.m.
Stop by the Ellwood City Festival, scheduled for June 30 through July 2, 2017 at Ewing Park.
8. Punxsutawney Groundhog Festival
Travel to Punxsutawney for the town's annual Groundhog Festival. The week long celebration promises a full menu of activities and events, including a fireman's parade, live entertainment, rides and games for the kids, food vendors, and plenty of product vendors.
The Groundhog Festival runs from July 1-8, 2017 in Barclay Square.
9. Regatta at Lake Arthur
Soak up the summer sun at the Lake Arthur Regatta. The two-event offers both land and lake activities, including live entertainment, demonstrations, plenty of boats, and kids' activities.
The Lake Arthur Regatta is set for August 5-6, 2017.