This weekend in the Northside, check out a documentary on the life and art of Yayoi Kusama at the Mattress Factory, a live performance by When Particles Collide at The Government Center, and a Wine and Weeding event to support your Northside neighbors in Mechanics Retreat Park. 

Photo taken at The Government Center by Sophia Mastroianni

Thursday, August 15

BBQ on Brighton at Providence Connections

Come and enjoy a festival of food, fun, and friends at the annual BBQ on Brighton! This free event is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and is open to all friends of Providence Connections. Please RSVP at 412-766-3860 by August 12. Providence Connections is located at 3113 Brighton Rd., 15212.

Kusama: Infinity at the Mattress Factory

Get to know the artist behind the polka dots. Join us for a special screening of Kusama: Infinity, a documentary that looks at the life and work of Mattress Factory artist Yayoi Kusama, the top-selling female artist in the world. Along with the film, you can experience Infinity Dots, Mirrored Room and Repetitive Vision, two Kusama rooms that are part of the Mattress Factory’s permanent collection, and explore photos and items – think a polka dot chair! – from Kusama’s Mattress Factory installation in 1996. If you’re not sure what to wear, channel the artist herself and take part in a Kusama-themed costume contest – best costume wins a one-year membership to the museum! Event is from 6 to 8 p.m. Drinks and light bites will be provided. $20/$15 MF Members and Students Members: Email for discount code. Students: Present valid student ID at check in. More information available via Facebook.

Big Band Dance at the Elks: An Evening of Basie and Nestico

The Allegheny Elks Lodge is hosting a special Big Band Dance that is open to all! Mark Peters and The Jazz Conspiracy Big Band will swing your socks off with the music of Count Basie and Sammy Nestico! Enjoy corny jokes and loads of big band knowledge by Kyle Simpson, as well as the most fabulous lead trumpet player you’ll hear in the region, Tim Brutscher. The Allegheny Elks Lodge #339 is located at 400 Cedar Ave. Mark Peters provides a beginner’s swing dance lesson at no additional charge from 7:15 to 8:00 pm. The Jazz Conspiracy Big Band starts swinging at 8:00 pm. No dance experience or partner required. $10 general admission and $5 students with student ID at the door. Families are encouraged to attend.

Friday, August 16

Northside Farmers Market in Allegheny Commons Park

Did you know the Citiparks Farmers Market accepts ACCESS cards? Check it out this and every Friday for the summer from 3 to 7 p.m. at Allegheny Commons Park at the corner of East Ohio Street and Cedar Avenue. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, cheese, baked goods, flowers, and more. PLus, this week there will be a rock climbing wall provided by Staunch Entertainment. For more information, head to the Facebook event page.

When Particles Collide at The Government Center

When Particles Collide return to Pittsburgh, PA, and bring their unstoppable rock to the Northside this time! Joined by locals: Lindsay Dragan (rust belt garage folk band), Jess Klein and the Good Time (five piece feel good rock), Old Game (dark and moody acoustic duo set). Doors: 7:00pm, Music 7:30pm, $8 Cover Charge. BYOB. More information available on the Facebook event page.

21+ Night: Game Night at Carnegie Science Center

Discover the science behind your favorite video, board, role-playing, and casino games at Carnegie Science Center’s next 21+ Science After Hours event. 21+ Night: Game Night is Fri., Aug. 16 from 6–10 pm and features a Mario Kart 8 Tournament on a massive screen in the Science Stage, game show challenges, virtual reality exploration through gameplay, and the chance to challenge your friends to a game of craps, roulette, blackjack, or poker with the Tables Games Team from Rivers Casino. Ashley Lynn Priore, founder and CEO of The Queen’s Gambit Chess Institute, is also presenting a discussion on the future of gaming. Cash bars and food are available for purchase. You must be age 21 or older to enter and proper identification is required. Tickets cost $15 in advance online and $20 at the door. For more information, click here.

Saturday, August 17

The Cynics at Get Hip

The Cynics are back out on tour again. This time the legendary Pittsburgh band hits the road to celebrate with fans the 30th anniversary of their 1989 classic album Rock’n’Roll!They will play the entire Rock’n’Roll album beginning to end plus plenty of other hits from the rest of their amazing catalog! So you can leave the “Is rock and roll dying” debates at home, and go see The Cynics, alive and screaming! Shows are both Saturday, August 17 adn Sunday, August 18. More information available via Facebook.

Summer Family Puppet Slam ‘n Picnic

It’s time for your annual puppet adventure! Join the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh up on Spring Hill for a showcase of what is happening right here, right now in Pittsburgh Puppetry. This family friendly event will feature work from Dave English, Sarver Express, Darlene Thompson, Suzanne Werder, Kirsten Ervin, Cheryl Capezzuti and Kellee Van Aken plus performances and interactive dance with Giant Puppet Dance Club. Tickets $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. Cash at the door or purchase in advance here. Check out the Facebook event page for more information.

Pittsburgh Night Lights Water Lantern Festival

The Northside’s first Water Lantern Festival comes to Allegheny Commons West Park today at Lake Elizabeth. Music, food trucks, activities, and lantern decorating. Lanterns on the lake at dusk. The gates open at 6:30 pm and attendees will receive a free goody bag while supplies last. For full event details and ticket information, visit

Sunday, August 18

Annual Talent Show/Family Day at Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino is inviting other Northside businesses to partner by offering the event as a celebration for their employees. Partners could provide acts for the talent show (with auditions to be held prior to the event) and craft booths for attendees to view and vote on and would also participate in some planning meetings leading up to the event. Employees of these partner companies and their families would then be able to attend this family-friendly festival at no cost. This event will be a lot of fun and will have something for everyone. Possible activities include a bounce house, face painting, a balloon artist, a magician, a petting zoo, carnival games, etc. Event is from 1 to 6 p.m.

Wine and Weeding in Mechanics Retreat Park

Join your neighbors and friends every Sunday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm to weed, prune, trim, and clean up Mechanics Retreat Park, located on the corner of Jacksonia and Buena Vista Streets, across from Commonplace Coffee. Currently, a small, but dedicated, group of volunteers keeps the garden looking beautiful under the care of a Master Gardener, Susan Benn. Tools, guidance, and, of course, wine and snacks are provided. It’s always a fun time! Can you help?

Have an event you’d like us to feature online in the Northside Happenings? Every week on our website, we announce free or almost-free events happening in the Northside on Thursdays through Sundays. Fill out our Google Form or email a paragraph detailing the name of the event, location, specifics and a website or contact information to Deadline is 4 p.m. on the Wednesday before the weekend.

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