Pennsylvania is one of America’s most active states when it comes to festivals and special events. Most of them take place in the summer and fall, when the weather is at its best. You can find festivals revolving around film, food, alcohol, folk arts, music, and history nearly every weekend. Philly and Pittsburgh are where most of the big ones take place, but you will also find fun festivals in the Poconos, Gettysburg, and other rural areas.
Philly Craft Beer Festival
Every March the City of Brotherly Love gears up for the end of winter with its annual beer festival. You won’t find any Budweiser among the 120 different beers on tap because this event is all about small craft brewers from around the region. It takes place over a long weekend in the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal. There is also a competition to see who is brewing the best this year in all categories.
Pittsburgh Wine Festival
For several days every May the city of Pittsburgh comes out to enjoy its wealth of quality restaurants and the state’s native wine industry. It’s something of a secret that Pennsylvania grows grapes, but there are dozens of wineries around and this event lets you get a taste of wines from some very small-scale vineyards. Backing up the wine is a great presentation of local food from the city’s top restaurants. The event is held in Heinz Field and several smaller venues, featuring seminars and other special tasting events.
Pittsburgh Folk Festival
This annual event each May has been happening for decades, and is one of Pennsylvania’s top folk festivals. It is held in Pittsburgh’s Monroeville Convention Center, where musicians from around the world come to share their unique style of native music. Craft demonstrations and cultural exhibits round off the series of musical performances, giving guests the chance to meet the artists and learn more about individual cultures.
Battle of Gettysburg Re-enactment
From July 1 to 3 every summer the violent and decisive Battle of Gettysburg is replayed in prefect replication right on the battlefield where the action actually happened. This was one of the most important and pivotal battles of the Civil War and this huge event features around 20,000 participants in authentic costume and weaponry. Thousands of spectators watch the events unfold, making this one of the world’s largest battle re-enactments. It’s crowded but truly fascinating to witness.
Pumpkinland Harvest Festival
For two months between September and November the beautiful farm of Linvilla Orchards opens up its gates to welcome visitors who want to immerse themselves in everything fall. With around 100 tons of pumpkins grown here, the place is the epitome of Pennsylvania’s glorious fall season. Hay rides, straw bale mazes, and face painting are just some of the kid-friendly activities on offer. There are also fun train, horse, and pony rides around the farm.
Philadelphia Film Festival
The city of Philadelphia hosts one of America’s most prestigious film festivals every October and November. For several weeks, venues across Pennsylvania screen new films by directors from around 50 different countries. In total, you can expect about 300 films on the docket from every category including documentaries, animation, and feature films. There is also a competition side of the festival and a special voting block for audiences only.