Fresh Fest Pops Up in Pittsburgh

Published On May 11, 2015 | By Leah Kennedy | Community

Photo Cred: Big Burrito

PopUp! Pittsburgh is popping up in the North Side’s California-Kirkbride neighborhood this Saturday, and this time, they hope to give residents a fresh outlook on buying local. If you’re not in the know about PopUp! Pittsburgh, now’s the time to get familiar. The Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. development initiative has been putting on showstopping productions in neighborhoods all over the city in order to spark a perceptional change in minds everywhere.

The goal of PopUp! Pittsburgh is to utilize their target neighborhood’s open spaces to surprise and engage its community residents and visitors in ways that encourage appreciation of the neighborhood’s character and assets. Past events have including a mass wedding vowel renewal to celebrate love in the Lawrenceville community, a laser show in Larimer to shed light on the town, and a 5K and community festival in Mt. Washington’s Emerald View park system.

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Life is Sweet Bakery

Now, the organization is striving to make their next move in pursuing a flourishing Pittsburgh community. Based on the farm-to-table concept and held in California-Kirkbride, PopUp! Pittsburgh’s Fresh Fest will offer an assortment of family-friendly activities and entertainment as well as many options for residents to purchase fresh local goods and produce. Farm Truck Foods, a mobile business striving to deliver fresh local goods to areas with limited access, will be making their onsite debut. Families are encouraged to bring children to participate in fun, hands-on games and make-and-take activities that encourage healthy eating in the Farm n’ Fun Zone.

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Bill Fuller

Fresh Fest will also feature a food-themed venture that aims to engage the neighborhood crowd and encourage its members to participate. Make sure to check out Food Feud: a cook-off competition between California-Kirkbride residents and a few local well-known chefs, moderated by Chef Kevin Watson of Savoy. Chef participants include Kelly Doran Bareford and Christine Mains of Life is Sweet Bakery, Bill Fuller of Big Burrito Restaurant Group, and Executive Chef Dustin Miller of Giant Eagle; and a panel of local figureheads and resident judges will be eyeing the competitors closely to determine who will prepare the tastiest treats and ultimately swindle the popular vote. The competition consists of three rounds – vegetable, meat and pre-made baked goods – and competitors are expected to bring their A-game. Winners will be chosen from each round, and one winner will be chosen for preparing the best overall dish. If you’re looking to participate as a chef or a judge, make sure to send an email to for more info.

bigburrito2Initiated seven years ago, PopUp! Pittsburgh is a project of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. and its leadership development initiative, LDI XXII. LDI consists of a graduate network of more than 2,000 influential civic leaders working to maximize our community’s potential and improve the quality of life in our city. The leadership is a collective of individuals striving to build leadership skills and enlarge professional networks, all within the context of community awareness. Past LDI classes have been the creators of several pop up events throughout the city of Pittsburgh, and they hope to make a positive impact within the North Side community at Fresh Fest.

Fresh Fest will be held at Jacksonia Parklet (842 Jacksonia Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212) on Saturday, May 16, from 11AM-2PM. Stop by and check out your options for fresh, affordable produce, and get to know a few staple chefs and local establishments in Pittsburgh’s restaurant community.

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