By Haley Frederick
Pittsburgh Current Managing Editor
The All Star Craft Beer, Wine and Cocktail Festival returns to PNC Park this Saturday, June 29, for its second year. Hundreds of beverage brands and makers will be set up throughout the park and continue on Federal Street, giving unlimited samples to attendees.
The event, produced by national marketing and media agency UpcomingEvents.com, debuted in 2017 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA and premiered in Pittsburgh to sold-out crowds one year later.
This fall they’ll also be taking the festival to Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
“We are thrilled to bring this event back to one of the best ballparks in the Majors – the Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates,” says Festival Producer Ray Sheehan.
New this year, the event is split into two sessions that guests choose between when they buy tickets. Day drinkers can attend from noon to 4:30 p.m., or wait until the second session from 6:30-11 p.m. to see the sun go down and the stadium lights come on.
The special guest appearances—all Pittsburgh Pirates alumni—vary from session to session. Sid Bream (first base, 1985-90) and Kent Tekluve (pitcher, 1974-85) will be at the daytime session, while Omar Moreno (center field, 1975-82) and John Candelaria (pitcher, 1975-1985) will be at the later session.
Whether you’re more interested in the beverages or the Bucs, the All Star Craft Beer, Wine and Cocktail Festival will keep you occupied on all fronts. With your festival ticket you receive a keepsake glass, two tickets to a 2019 Pirates home game, a chance to walk the bases and warning track, a professional photo in the dugout, and, of course, a chance to meet the Pirates Parrot.
There’s also live music from bands and DJs including Walk of Shame, Right Turn Clyde, Enn Era, Outtareach, T-Robe, DJ H, DJ L’Herb, Keebs, DJ Xavier and DJ Magic Mike. Guests can also play Giant Jenga, Connect Four and cornhole.
General Admission tickets are $49.95. There are different VIP ticket levels that get guests more time to taste and access to lounges and activities, too. To find out more and buy tickets, visit ballparkfestival.com/pittsburgh. Be sure to use the promo code “paar5” to get a $5 discount and to support the local nonprofit, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR).
Each year the All Star Craft Beer, Wine and Cocktail Festival chooses a charity benefactor. Last year it was the Alzheimer’s Association for The Longest Day, and the donation exceeded $5,000.
This year, UpcomingEvents chose to support PAAR and their Project Last Call initiative. PAAR will receive proceeds from a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia onsite at the event, as well as 20% of the ticket sales using the PAAR promo code ”paar5.”
PAAR teamed up with the Pittsburgh chapter of the United States Bartender Guild to launch Project Last Call, a program to provide sexual harrassment prevention training to staff in restaurants and bars. They’re trying to start a dialogue around the issue of sexual harassment in the service industry that brings awareness to the ways the culture needs to change.
The program launched earlier this year, and Julie Evans, director of prevention at PAAR, says that they’re building momentum. They’ve done trainings for places like Full Pint Wild Side Pub, Spork, and Shiloh and Harris Grill so far.
“We keep going out and meeting with other establishments to make sure that they’re aware of it and that they’re thinking about how much of a benefit it would be to their employees to work in a place that’s free from sexual harassment,” Evans says.
The program has been getting very positive feedback, according to Evans. Not only does starting the conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace give employees an opportunity to talk about what they may have experienced but been uncomfortable to share, it also allows people to learn how to identify the behaviors that consitute harrasment and to think about what they can do if they encounter them before it happens.
“We all know sexual harrassment happens—sexual violence happens,” Evans says. “But we don’t want it to happen, so that’s why we have to talk about it.”
Evans says that participating in Project Last Call is a great way for restaurant and bar owners to show their staff that they care about their safety and will enforce policies that protect them.
PAAR will be present at the festival to spread the word about the program.
“The Pittsburgh All Star Craft Beer, Wine and Cocktail Festival reaches so many people within the hospitality industry that we felt it was our obligation to support PAAR’s Project Last Call,” says Sheehan. “We want our attendees and individuals within the bar and restaurant communities to feel safe.
“Project Last Call brings attention to this mission and the conversation to end sexual violence in the workplace to the forefront,” he said. “We want everyone to have a good time, while doing some good!”