Are you bored this weekend? Check out the goats at South Side Park


Pittsburgh has many quirks that make the city iconic. Of Picklesburg and Pierogi Festival to fries on salads and parking lot chairs – these cultural norms are Pittsburgh staples. However, there are many lesser-known elements that add to the original culture of the city, such as Goat Festival.

Goats? In Pittsburgh? Yes, you read that right.

South Side Park Friends volunteers organize Goat Fest to celebrate the 65-acre park – which encompasses the South Side Slopes, South Side Flats and Arlington – and share their love of the park with the community. The an event also raises funds for the ongoing ecological restoration effort while providing Pittsburgh residents the opportunity to watch invasive plant-eating goats in action.

Goats will eat invasive vines and other plants that prevent healthy trees from growing in the park. This will reforest the space, prevent soil erosion and reduce stormwater runoff.

The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. at the Arlington ballpark. Parking is at 21st Street and Josephine with a free shuttle to the entrance at 2000 Julia Street. It is free and open to the public; however, donations are suggested to help fund the project.

Donations come in the form of buying tickets to adopt a tree and escape a goat on line. This is a suggested donation of $25 per group/family to support the volunteer-led reforestation of South Side Park.

Adopt a multifaceted tree. First, the tree planting experience allows you to learn about the activity and ecological restoration while getting your hands dirty. Secondly, the bonsai or make-and-go tree kit allows people to create their own mini bonsai landscape. Finally, Adopt a Tree lets people customize a metal tag to put on a fence surrounding a new seedling. People will also be recognized in the South Side Park newsletter.

Escape Goat is a puzzle solving activity. People must solve a series of puzzles along the trails to “save a goat”. For those able to solve all the puzzles, they will be entered to win a prize. There will also be an Escape Goat Junior puzzle aimed at younger children.

Additionally, there will be live music, a petting zoo, a craft market, food trucks, and children’s activities such as face painting, a puppet show, bubbles, games, and an inflatable slide.

Johnny “the parking chair” Wiedmann will MC the event. From noon to 1 p.m., DJs Mélanie and Phil will perform. Next, The biscuitsa local reggae-meets-ska-meets-punk band, will perform until 2 p.m. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Paging Doctor Moon, a soulful singer-songwriter, will perform. To close the event, Bluesdriversa local eclectic blues band, will perform.

Over 30 artisan vendors will be at Goat Fest. Attendees can purchase goat milk products, clothing, crochet items, home decor, candles, artwork, jewelry and more.

Most importantly, attendees will get to see the stars of the show – the goats! They’ll be near the Jurassic Valley Overlook, which is to the east on the South Side Park Trail. Goat escape puzzles will be throughout this journey along the trail.

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