Guide to the Shadyside Arts Festival (Aug 24 & 25)

Everything you need to know about this weekend’s Shadyside Arts Festival, including two new restaurants located off Walnut Street.

by Emma Diehl
August 22, 2019

The temperatures might be cooling off, but Pittsburgh’s festival season is still in full swing. Take advantage of a rain-free weekend to enjoy art in the city.

This Saturday and Sunday, Shadyside will host its annual art festival. What started as a small festival has become one of the top arts events in Pennsylvania. In its 23rd year, the festival hosts over 140 artists, including painters, photographers, jewelers and more. You’ll be able to meet the artist behind the work to learn how they created each piece of art.

A festival on Walnut Street – Shadyside’s history of arts & music

Occupying the business district of Shadyside on Walnut Street, the arts festival offers a feast for the eyes, while local restaurants nearby provide a feast of local flavors.

Shadyside Arts Festival details

The Shadyside Arts Festival will take place this weekend on Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25.

  • 23rd Annual Shadyside Art Festival
  • Location: Walnut Street in Shadyside
  • Date: Sat, Aug. 24 // Sun, Aug. 25
  • Time: Saturday, 10am – 7pm // Sunday, 10am – 5pm
  • Facebook Event

About the Shadyside Arts Festival

This is the 23rd year for the Shadyside Arts Festival. The festival offers an experience that is more like the Three Rivers Arts Festival with artists coming from around the country to sell their art. The Shadyside Arts Festival is organized by Howard Alan Events and is technically called “The Arts Festival on Walnut Street.”

According to the website Pittsburgh Music History, Shadyside has had a long history of being a hub for music and art:

The Shadyside Artist Festival was founded in 1970. To promote the event, organizers spread the news via flyers, word of mouth and the then-fledgling underground music radio station WDVE. A stage was set up in the parking lot behind Rollier’s Hardware store. Rick Engler, who had the office of his concert promotion business, Go Attractions, on Walnut, booked the bands. Psychedelic groups The Marshmallow Steam Shovel, Children of Stone, Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers, and Engler’s band, The Grains of Sand performed. A group of 18 local artists set up tables on the sidewalks of Walnut Street. Almost 10,000 people attended the first year. Since then, the annual festival has grown to draw 200,000 people with 140 artist booths and demonstrations by The Carnegie and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Jazz singer Mark Murphy, Bo Diddley Jr., Chismo Charles, Kenny Blake, the Balcony Big Band, Deliberate Strangers, Pure Gold, the Jazz Explosion All Stars with Tony JanFlone Jr. and Robbie Klein, the Duquesne University Guitar Ensemble with Kenny Karsh, and many other popular acts have appeared at the festival.

Know before you go: Shadyside Arts Festival

  • Parking: There are numerous metered public lots just behind Walnut Street, as well as metered street parking.
  • Transportation: If you’re not coming by car, there are plenty of HealthyRide stations nearby; try Scoobis or public transportation. Walnut Street is just two blocks away from both Fifth Avenue.
  • Bathrooms: Check out local businesses and shops for restrooms.

A few new restaurants to try in Shadyside

If you are hungry… Shadyside offers plenty of food options! Grab a classic Pittsburgh brunch at Pamela’s (5527 Walnut St.), a bite and brew at The Yard (736 Bellefonte) or Shady Grove (5500 Walnut St.), and dinner, drinks or brunch at Acorn (5528 Walnut St.)

Snacks for the road: Looking for a bite on the way? Grab fresh produce or a meal at the Bloomfield Saturday Market.

Two new restaurants have opened in Shadyside this summer:

Con Alma on Ellsworth Street (read more from Pittsburgh Magazine)

Tocayo on Ivy Street (read more from Good Food Pittsburgh)


Getting there
Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Emma is a Pittsburgh-based writer, with a focus on lifestyle and technology. Her work has been featured on HuffpostLive!, NPR, XOJane, NEXTPittsburgh, and Niche.

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