Picklesburgh picked as top specialty food festival by USA Today | TribLIVE.com
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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

Pittsburgh’s a big dill.

Picklesburgh was chosen as the No. 1 best specialty food festival in America in a USA Today reader poll.

Pittsburghers played a significant role by voting daily to ensure that the event beat out competition from cities such as Miami, Houston, Louisville and Baltimore, according to press release Friday from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

“Thank you so much to the thousands of Pittsburghers who feel passionately about Picklesburgh and brought home another win for the City of Champions,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “Pittsburgh has embraced Picklesburgh in so many ways — by turning out in incredible numbers, creating spectacular culinary creations, impressively drinking pickle juice at lightning speeds, and most of all, embracing a uniquely Pittsburgh experience. We are so honored to have won this incredible distinction.”

USA Today in its series of travel guides had chosen the pickle celebration, held annually on the Roberto Clemente Bridge, as a finalist.

The free Pittsburgh festival celebrates all things pickled, has attracted national attention that has included the “Today Show,” “Good Morning America” “Fox News,” “Washington Post,” “Boston Globe,” and “Travel + Leisure.” This year’s event will be held in July and will continue to showcase Downtown Pittsburgh’s pickled history and culinary ingenuity.

In the end, it topped the Bacon and Beer Classic, which has multiple locations, and the Pismo Beach Clam Festival, in Pismo Beach, Calif.

The festival is produced by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and presented by Heinz.

The festival will be returning late July. Dates will be announced in the coming weeks as the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has been working with the city and county in an effort to expand the overall size of the festival footprint to better accommodate the huge crowds it has attracted, a news release said.

“Congratulations to Picklesburgh on this fantastic feat,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a news release. “We are so proud to partner with the PDP on hosting this world-class event that is so uniquely Pittsburgh. We look forward to fully celebrating this win with the entire region in July!”

Attendees have been treated to international dishes, prepared foods and artisan cocktails that featured pickled ingredients. Last year, it featured a pickle juice drinking contest.

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