Halloween in Pittsburgh: Local Bloggers Offer Treats to Read

I was just planning on putting up a blog post that highlights some of the best photos and tweets about Halloween from around town (you can find all of that stuff below).  I have spent this week writing about Halloween parties and I have spent this afternoon writing about Halloween apps over here.  All fun and fluffy stuff.  I clicked over the the Pittsburgh Bloggers Facebook group to add my links to the Friday link share post and I stopped to read what some of the other bloggers have shared this week.

While tricks and treats are fun, these bloggers have written some incredibly thoughtful posts about Halloween, giving, kindness and just being good people.  I think all of these posts are worth a read.  I really like the idea of thinking about Halloween and giving.  I sort of think of Halloween as the unofficial end of fall and beginning of the holiday season.  I’ve included a small quote from each of these three posts, but I would encourage you to click through and visit each of these blog posts and learn more about these writers and Pittsburghers.  In the middle of all of the candy fueled craziness, it is nice to be reminded about some things that really matter.

The Spirit of Giving: Light the Sky by Chelle Stein @Chelle_stein – be sure to check out the video she made of her journal, part of the Journal52 project.

Today is Halloween, and for me, this day is not so much about ghosts and those kinds of spirits as much as it is about the spirit of giving.

It begins a time of year when we are on the brink of our darkest days with no sunshine, yet the spirit of giving lights the way all through now until the end of the year.

Pittsburgh Plays It Forward With Holiday Toy Project by The Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents @PghLesbian24 – a great post offing an in-depth look at Play It Forward Pittsburgh, local nonprofit that I did not know about.  I think Sue’s idea to share this on Halloween is brilliant – another great idea at the beginning of the holiday season.

I’m publishing this on Halloween because I know a lot of families set aside costumes as playthings so you might consider doing that this year and sharing those items with neighbors.

A Real Mensch by Rabble Raiser @FunkyDung – this real Pittsburgh dad share a story about how his son has shown friendship to one of his preschool classmates.

That small gesture, that might have meant a lot to that little girl, is just the kind of thing he does. He’ll play with anyone. He can make friends with anyone. He’s not a loud, boisterous personality, though. He’s a quiet, silly, bouncy kid that is as comfortable doing his own thing in class or on the playground as he is cooperating and playing with a big crowd.

On several occasions, Joel has said, “I love everyone in the whole world”. I think I believe him.

The (Party) People Behind The Hitchcock Halloween Party

Pittsburgh Halloween Party Carrie FurnaceI know that I included the Hitchcock! A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace on the big list of Pittsburgh Halloween Parties, but the folks who are working to make this a fabulous party and this location both deserve a more than the few bullet points that were included on that list.

The hosts of this upcoming soiree have been sending some amazing updates about the party, more on that in a minute.  First the party details…

Hitcock! A Halloween Party

The Venue: Carrie Furnace

If you are new to Pittsburgh, or maybe you grew up here when the Waterfront had already been turned into a shopping plaza, you might not know what in the heck people are talking about when they say furnace.

Carrie Furnace No. 7, U.S. Steel Homestead Wor...

Carrie Furnace No. 7, U.S. Steel Homestead Works, Blast Furnace Plant, Along Monongahela River, Homestead (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) (cropped) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Carrie Furnace is actually the Carrie Furnaces, former blast furnaces that were part of a steel manufacturing plant.  As you may know, most of the steel manufacturing left the Pittsburgh area in the 1970s and 1980s.  The Carrie Furnaces were built in 1907 for the Homestead Works.  The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area is working on making these furnaces one of the focal points for a proposed Homestead Works National Park.

The Carrie Furnace and the whole Rivers of Steel area are an often overlooked, but very important part of local and national history. The steel industry a key story line in the development of Pittsburgh as a major international city but the Homestead Strike of 1892 was a significant historical event in the countries labor history.

And that is just a tiny bit of the history behind the Carrie Furnace.  You can learn more about the site from the Rivers of Steel website here.

The Hosts: The Brew Gentlemen, The Independent Brewing Company & Bar Marco

This party is being put together by three businesses that are all relatively new to Pittsburgh, but whose owners have a passion for supporting the local community, local businesses and local history.  I know that I, as well as many others in Pittsburgh, have written much about each of these businesses before (and I am sure the other bloggers are better writers than me).  But all of these fine folks should be on your radar…

The Trailer: Yes, this party has its own video trailer

The Other Details…

Pete, who is one of the owners of The Independent Brewing Company as been writing some impressive essays, I mean updates about the party.  Here are a few of the highlights, you can read all of the party updates here.

On what to wear…

1.  Wear “outdoor” shoes.  Most of the party is indoors, but even indoors, the terrain can be a bit rough.  So wear something that will prevent you from twisting ankles or skinning toes.  You can rock that sexy 60s cocktail dress just as well (and a heck of a lot more comfortably and safely) in a cute pair of sturdy flats. as you would in 6 inch stilettos.

2.  Dress as light as you’d like, but be SURE to bring something warm to throw on — Current weather predictions are sunny (yay!) but a low of 39 degrees (boo!).   Don’t worry — we’re not animals — we’ll have fire barrels in the courtyard and also space heaters in the A/C Powerhouse (which will likely warm up from human heat pretty well too).  But, plan to have a couple of layers.  No one is going to stop you from coming naked and wrapped in a bloody shower curtain, but be sure to bring a blanket to wrap yourself in when you go into the courtyard.

On why this party matters…

But, I hope (and, after today, I think that I know) that, at this party, you’ll have a sense that what you’re doing is being part of something special, for the furnaces and the region.  And I hope that you can connect back to that same feeling that we’ve had as we continue to build our set:  namely, that not long ago, there were hard working people in this very same place making iron that built not just our city, but our whole nation.  We can’t compare to the achievements of those workers.  But we can help keep their memory alive by throwing one hell of a party and bringing that sacred place alive for one more evening (and hopefully, many more days and evenings to come in the future).

If you get the chance, sign up the for the Independent Brewing Company’s Email list (I have no idea where  or how you sign up for this) but I promise you that Pete’s weekly updates are not something that you will want to click unsubscribe.

Have a Handmade Halloween – Halloween Classes & Activities Around Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Halloween Classes

In addition to pumpkin pickin and hay rides, there are lots of other ways to get into the Halloween spirit around Pittsburgh this week.  While the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s blown glass pumpkin workshop has already sold out, there is still plenty of space left in the other workshops.  I know the glass workshops are popular and we’re already working on a post about ornament workshops for the holiday season.

Fused Glass Pumpkins at the Pittsburgh Glass CenterFriday. 10/24 – Make-It-Now Workshops @ Pittsburgh Glass Center

Friday, 10/24 – Spooky Science Sleepover @ Carnegie Science Center

  • Activities include a spooky live science demonstration, a family Halloween laser show, a late-night snack, and a continental breakfast
  • $35/person
  • More details available here
  • Call 412.237.1637 to register
  • Follow @CSCPittsburgh

Saturday, 10/25 – Halloween WorkShops @ TechShop

Saturday, 10/25 – Halloween Mayhem @ Kelly Strayhorne Theater

  • Noon-4pm
  • Zombies, a costume parade, puppets, live performances, games and more
  • FREE
  • Register online here

laser-etched-pumpkinMonday, 10/27 – Date Night: Laser Etched Pumpkins @ TechShop

  • Custom laser etched pumpkins
  • $55 for TechShop Members/$75 for Non-members
  • 5pm or 7pm
  • Register online here

Tuesday, 10/28 – Kids Create: Halloween Masks @ Carnegie Library Sheraden

  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Design and create your own Halloween mask in the children’s area.
  • Location: 720 Sherwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204
  • More details here

Tuesday, 10/28 – Tween Workshop Tuesday: Halloween goo @ Carnegie Library Brookline

  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Come to the library to do crazy science with your friends. This month’s experiment – Halloween goo. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? Does it bounce? Come find out!
  • All are welcome, but this program is especially recommended for ages 7-11.
  • Location: 708-710 Brookline Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15226
  • More details here

Friday, 10/31 – Kids Club Spooky Crafts @ Carnegie Library Mt. Washington

  • 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM
  • Stop in to make a spooky craft and get a treat.
  • Children grade K-5
  • Location: 315 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15211
  • More details here

More Halloween Happenings Around Pittsburgh

Check out these posts from our fellow Pittsburgh bloggers about fall activities…

Zombies Save Pittsburgh – A Halloween Party for A Good Cause

Can Zombies Save Pittsburgh?  With your help yes! (If you are just looking for details on the Zombie Halloween Party scroll to the bottom of the page – keep reading for details on how and why I think you should check out the party).

CHS-Plain-MastheadFor the past few holiday seasons, IheartPGH has joined with other bloggers to help a Pittsburgh non-profit – Community Human Services (CHS) – make sure that some of the less fortunate Pittsburghers have some holiday gifts.  I was happy to support this project and over the past few years I have learned a lot more about CHS and the incredible and important services they provide.

Last year, at the holiday party I had the opportunity to chat with a woman who works for CHS and works with the kids in Allegheny County that have signed themselves out of the foster care system.  These are 18 year-olds that don’t have families and many don’t have a place to live.  CHS works to get these kids housing and to give them at least some sort of a holiday gift.

I have been thinking about the best way to write about CHS and their upcoming Halloween Party – and then I read this article in the Tampa Bay Times this afternoon – Amid churchgoers, an orphan pleads for a family, October 7, 2013.  And I burst into tears.  Please take a moment to read this story.  I was struck by how along this kid felt and I’ve been thinking all day about what I can do about this.  While I am not sure what I can do to help Davion find a family in Florida – I can help to support a Pittsburgh organization that is working on these issues right here.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until December to support CHS! This Saturday, CHS is hosting what is sure to be an incredible event, No One Survives Alone, a zombie themed Halloween Party – this Saturday, October 19, 2013.  The party is going to be at Clear Story Studios – which is an incredible office space located on the South Side. Music by DJ Zombo, a beer bar sponsored by Yuengling, specialty cocktails with Fortis Vodka and Bluecoat Gin, appetizers from Whole Foods, Red Oak Cafe and Catering.

no one survives alone

No One Survives Alone
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Clear Story Studios
$50 – in advance, $60 – at the door

Other ways to help:

Reverse Keg Ride 2011 Includes Costume Contest for Best PGH Costume!

Keg Ride '10-22

Image by robjdlc via Flickr

For those of you looking for a way to celebrate Halloween while getting some exercise – think of it as canceling out the candy – or you really love bicycles and beer – this is the event for you. Its time for the annual Reverse Keg Ride.

What is a Reverse Keg Ride?

A few years ago, End End Brewing decided that the best way to get the first keg of Pedal Pale Ale to the bar was by bike.  And thus the keg ride was born. And each year a few more people decided to come along for the ride.  This spring over 400 people joined the ride to deliver the first keg AND raise money for some local charities.

Since the keg rides have been so popular, in 2009 it was decided that the way to end the pedaling season was with a reverse keg ride back to the brewery – another chance to raise some money, drink some beer and take a bike ride through Pittsburgh with a few hundred people.

Keg Ride, but its Halloween Weekend?

Yes, it is! So the bicycle beer loving folks are holding a costumer contest – and it is a good one. Prizes will be awarded for Best Beer-themed Costume, Best Pittsburgh-themed Costume and Best Overall Costume,

How does this work?

Well, talk about another great example of a Pittsburgh collaboration.  East End Brewing is working with the folks at Venture Outdoors to make sure this is a well organized and safe event.  East End Brewing knows beer.  And Venture Outdoors are experts in organizing large groups of people to do fun things outside.

Reverse Keg Ride Details

  • Saturday, October 29th. Rain or shine.
  • Breakfast and Check-in at 9:00am
  • Depart at 10:00, arrive at 11:00-11:30am
  • Cost: $15 for pre-registration (on-line), $20 for Day-of-ride registration. This is a charitable contribution that goes to support “Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders” (aka ABOARD), a non-profit agency, providing a lifeline of support for families and individuals with autism.
  • What you get:  a continental breakfast, morning coffee, a fun day of riding your bike in a big group… and this year’s very first SNOW MELT WINTER ALE fresh from the brewery.
  • Get all the details and warnings about hills here.  Ready to register – you can do that here.