This weekend in the Northside, mark your calendars for Anna Azizzy’s “The Secret Life of Gym Girls” at New Hazlett Theater, Jazz at Emmanual Episcopal Church, the Christmas Tree Spectacular at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse, and more.

Photo: Anna Azizzy’s “The Secret Life of Gym Girls” premieres at New Hazlett Theater on Dec. 5. By Renee Rosensteel

Thursday, Dec. 5

The Secret Life of Gym Girls at New Hazlett Theater

“The Secret Life of Gym Girls is a solo performance that tells the story of Harper Frances and her gymnastics team, their moms, and their coach. While together at the gym, they are seemingly happy in their world. Apart, their queer and unusual desires are revealed. Full of quirky animation and lullaby music, Anna Azizzy’s work is hilarious, weird, and imperfect.” For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Daryl Shawn Live at Scratch

“Pittsburgh-based solo nylon-string guitarist Daryl Shawn plays at Scratch, where he appears the first Thursday of every month. There’s no cover charge, and the cocktails and food are in the top echelon.” More information available via Facebook.

Friday, Dec. 6

2019 St. Nik Bock Reserve Release Party

Penn Brewery’s annual St. Nik Party is near! Join them for an evening of beer, food, music, & fun! Of course, The Jolly ol’ guy himself will be there to tap the first keg of the 2019 St. Nikolaus Bock Brewers Reserve! Autobahn Band & Show will be playing favorite tunes starting at 6 PM. The Keg Tapping will begin shortly after Happy Hour (around 6:15). Read more here.

Good Friday at The Andy Warhol Museum

“For a more social experience, The Warhol Museum is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and offers half-price museum admission and a cash bar beginning at 5 p.m.” More information available here.

Observatory Hill’s Community Light Up Festival

It’s the third annual Light Up event now being called Community Light Up Festival. All residents, business owners, and neighbors are welcome. The event has had to change the name slightly due to certain conflicts, but the activities, fun and the sentiment is the same, and it is FREE to everyone! Hot chocolate and Hot dogs will be provided, no charge. Face Painting, cookie decorating, crafts and of course Santa with gifts for the kids. The kids can write a letter to Santa and put in in our special mailbox. Click here for the Facebook event page. Visit the FivePoints Business District website or email for more information.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Photos with Santa & a Penguin

“Santa is coming to the National Aviary and visitors will have the opportunity to take photos with Santa and a penguin! Learn about this endangered species and bring your camera to capture this memorable holiday moment!” Saturdays before Christmas. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Included with admission. More information is available on the Aviary’s website.

Write Pittsburgh Fundraiser at City Books

“Write Pittsburgh is co-hosting a panel on youth writing workshops at the 2020 AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference in San Antonio! However, they need our help to get there. City Books will be hosting a fundraiser for Write Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 7-9 PM. Tickets are $10. Proceeds from this reading will go toward their travel expenses. Great lineup of local writers, featuring Cameron Barnett, Candace Opper, Sheena Carroll, and the Write Pittsburgh founder, Vivian Lee Croft. Refreshments will be served. RSVP now through Eventbrite, or at the door. Facebook event is here. There will also be copies of their recent Girls Write Oeuvre anthologies for sale.” City Books is located at 908 Galveston Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Jazz at Emmanuel

“Jazz at Emmanuel — where the spirited and the spiritual join together in a new kind of celebration!” Jazz Vespers incorporates a series of finger-snapping jazz meditations and stirring poetic or interpretive readings that celebrate everyone as beloved human beings before a benevolent and wondrous creator. A scriptural message and passing of the peace round out the celebration of the theme of the day. This not-to-be-missed, unique worship experience is one everyone will want to see and hear for themselves. Directed by Dr. James Johnson Jr. of the Afro-American Music Institute on piano, the Jazz ensemble includes guest bassists, Lou Schreiber on reeds, James Johnson III on drums, and Pamela Johnson on vocals, as well as occasional guest musicians. Always the 2nd Sunday at 5:00 pm, September through May. Emmanuel Episcopal Church is located at 957 West North Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Click here for more information.

Christmas Tree Spectacular at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden

Stop in to Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden “…to pick out the perfect tree, sip hot cocktails, purchase Christmas gifts, and help support a local non-profit! They are selling Christmas Trees the first two weekends of December. All tree sale profits will be donated to Family House, a non-profit organization that provides a home away from home for families staying in PGH for medical care.” Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden is located at 1055 Spring Garden Avenue, Pittsburgh PA, 15212. Click here for more information.

Troy Hill Tree Lighting

All are welcome to the Troy Hill Tree Lighting this Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. Meet at the monument at Lowrie & Ley. Bring an ornament to hang or a sweet treat to share. Rain date is Sunday, Dec. 15. Hosted by Troy Hill Citizens: For more information, email

Spring Hill Christmas Tree Lighting

The annual Spring Hill Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at 6:00 PM in front of Waisenhaus Park on Rockledge Street. Santa will be arriving at the lot at 6 pm sharp. Bring the whole family for carols, hot cocoa, and cookies. Pictures with Santa are encouraged; please bring your camera. Candy canes will be handed out to all good little boys and girls! Click here for the Facebook event page.

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, Thursday through Sunday. 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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