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City cancels July 4 fireworks, opens other recreation activities


Last updated 5/20/2020 at 9:47pm

As the City of Pittsburgh enters a phased reopening, the city has released how summertime activities will be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While many activities will be permitted, others will be canceled or postponed. All decisions follow federal and state guidelines. 

“Pittsburgh residents have done a great job during these trying times staying safe and looking out for each other. The data shows the battle against this pandemic is far from over, however, and we must keep social distancing and other measures in place to win this fight, even when we’re enjoying the outdoors,” Mayor William Peduto said. 

The following is a list of permitted and non-permitted activities, with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines attached when relevant. 

Activities that can comply safely with social distancing guidelines will be allowed. They include: 

Drive-in movies (by the Special Events office) 

Farmers Markets 

Pickup of bulk trash 

Road closures in City parks (more information below) 

Tennis courts (singles matches encouraged) 

Pickle ball courts (singles matches encouraged) 

Skate parks

Fields (but not for organized group sports) 

Frisbee Golf 

Lawn Bowling 

Expanded summer food program (likely to begin June 15) 

City crews are now working to reopen facilities.

Large group events that cannot comply safely with social distancing will not be allowed. They include: 

July 4 fireworks 

City-sponsored concerts 

5Ks, the Great Race and other races (though they can be held virtually) 

Summer Camps 

Citiparks summer youth baseball 

Summer Line Dancing 

Pistons in the Park

Playgrounds, park shelters and spray parks remain closed until further notice. 

Swimming pools, including the Oliver Bath House, will remain closed. While the CDC says swimming itself is safe, it says 6 feet of distance between users is required and no more than 10 people should be allowed at any time. City pool waiting areas, locker rooms and lounging areas are too cramped to allow for appropriate distancing under the guidelines. 

Final decisions on other activities and facilities have not yet been made. These include: 

Recreation centers 

Senior Healthy Active Living centers 

Block party permits 

Mellon Tennis Bubble 


Art Cart 

Water fountains and water features 

Park restrooms 

Organized group sports including deck hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball (CDC) 

Decisions on closures and allowed activities may be revisited as pandemic circumstances and federal and state guidelines change. 

The City Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) has established a task force to study methods of using some streets and sidewalks to allow for safe recreation and business activity. Its recommendations will be issued soon. In the meantime, plans are underway to close some streets in city parks to vehicular traffic. No timetables are yet set, but plans are for the following closures: 

Sheraden Park: Adon Street

West End Park: West End Park Drive at Weaver and Herschel 

Highland Park: Reservoir Drive; Farmhouse Drive at Jackson Street/Connecting Road/Heberton/Grafton (These will be partial closures to allow for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority access to facilities.) 

Drive-in movies organized by the Special Events office will begin June 13.


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