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Britsburgh Descends Upon Pittsburgh

on Mon, 08/31/2015 - 00:00

The links between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Great Britain go back centuries, and are both obvious and subtle in nature. Pennsylvania, for instance, was founded by English real estate entrepreneur William Penn, while the city itself was named by British General John Forbes in honor of William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. Pittsburgh’s dominance in the steel industry, meanwhile, was led by Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant whose philanthropic legacy includes both museums and libraries throughout the region.

Beginning September 8, 2015, meanwhile, the connections between Pittsburgh and Britain will become even more apparent during Britsburgh, a weeklong festival that not only pays homage to the influence of Great Britain within the Steel City but likewise marks Queen Elizabeth II’s emergence as the longest serving British head of state on September 10th, the date she surpasses Queen Victoria for that honor.

“When we heard that the Trinity College Choir was coming to Pittsburgh and realized that Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving monarch a few days earlier, we had a window for a celebration,” Roger O. Cranville, President of British-American Connections Pittsburgh—the organizer of Britsburgh—explains. “That window has been filled with a great selection of events organized with dozens of partners. All events celebrate in some way or another the links with, and the culture of, the UK. We have been amazed by the number of people that have emerged and want to get on board and celebrate the long relationship between the UK and South Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.”

The Inaugural Wizard World Pittsburgh

on Wed, 07/22/2015 - 00:00

Comic book and pop culture conventions have become a hot commodity in the Twenty First Century. Comic-Con International: San Diego is considered the most prestigious of such gatherings, with Hollywood on hand to promote their latest film and television shows, while the New York Comic Con has set attendance records that top the 150,000 mark.

Then there’s Wizard Entertainment, former publishers of Wizard and ToyFare magazines, which first entered the convention fray in 1997 when they purchased the former Chicago Comicon and have since expanded into cities across the country, including Albuquerque, Cleveland, Las Vegas and New Orleans. In January 2015, Wizard World purchased the former Pittsburgh Comicon, adding the Steel City to their ever growing roster of pop culture showcases and enhancing the region’s Geek Culture offerings in the process.

“We know there is a vibrant pop culture fanbase in Pittsburgh, and that other events have been successful there,” Jerry Milani, public relations manager for Wizard World, explains of the acquisition. “Fans from the area that attended our Columbus and Philadelphia shows indicated that we should take a closer look at Pittsburgh and we were pleased that everything worked out.” Milani adds that it can be long process to determine if a particular city is right for Wizard World.