Riverlife paints the town green with Party at the Pier fundraiser | Pittsburgh City Paper

Riverlife paints the town green with Party at the Pier fundraiser

click to enlarge Two people in glamorous, formal dress stand next to river, smiling at the camera.
Photo: Rose Colored Creative
Riverlife's Party at the Pier: Green Envy
Fighting for cleaner waterways may not sound like a glamorous pursuit. But for over a decade, Riverlife has combined environmental goals and festive fun with Party at the Pier, an annual fundraising event to help support the nonprofit's various initiatives.

This year, Party at the Pier returns with a renewed purpose.

Taking place Fri., Aug. 26 at the Riverfront Amphitheater at Rivers Casino, Party at the Pier will offer an evening in what’s described in a press release as a “verdant, lush, and mysterious environment.” Guests can expect themed food and drink, live music and dancing, pop-up performances, and other surprises. The Gateway Clipper ship will also offer complimentary cruises around Pittsburgh’s Point throughout the evening with “views of Riverlife waterfront improvement projects.”


The Party at the Pier theme this year, Green Envy, will come through in a number of aspects, particularly the emphasis on “dramatic shades of Olive Sprig,” the “Color of the Year” by Party at the Pier sponsor, PPG Paints. In the past, Riverfront has encouraged guests to show up in their most daring and fashionable attire. Sarah Spiegel, director of development for Riverlife, says she looks forward to seeing what they do with the Green Envy theme.

“Each year, this event is always met with so much excitement surrounding the theme,” says Sarah Spiegel, director of development for Riverlife. “We went with the more dramatic and daring side of green to reflect the wild foliage along Pennsylvania riverbanks that is juxtaposed with our city’s urban setting.”

A statement says the theme of this year’s event “playfully highlights the message that Pittsburgh riverfronts are for everyone.” The event still takes inspiration from the mission Riverlife has worked to achieve since 1999, which is to ensure that Pittsburgh’s riverfronts are “cleaner, safer, and more engaging.”

Matthew Galluzzo, president and CEO of Riverlife, says that, while Party at the Pier is an “opportunity for Pittsburghers to celebrate what makes our riverfronts great,” proceeds from the event will support Riverlife's efforts to “complete, enhance, and expand” the Loop, a 15-mile, 1,055-acre area between the West End, Hot Metal, and 31st Street Bridges.


The so-called Loop includes a number of riverfront parks, trails, and green spaces that Riverlife strives to make “accessible and enjoyable for everyone.”

Riverfront claims that usage of the city’s riverfronts has skyrocketed by over 62% since 2019 and that proceeds from Party at the Pier will help the nonprofit organization with its Completing the Loop initiative. According to the Riverfront website, the initiative includes measures such as connecting neighborhoods to rivers with new parks and trails and creating recreation, programming, and public art that will make the riverfronts more of a destination.

"We are excited to bring Party at the Pier back to the Riverfront Amphitheater at Rivers Casino," says Galluzzo. "Assets that create moments of joy along the riverfronts — like the Amphitheater — make Pittsburgh the green envy of other cities."

Riverlife's Party at the Pier: Green Envy. 7:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. for VIP ticket holders. Fri., Aug. 26. Rivers Casino. 777 Casino Drive, Downtown. $90-250. partyatthepier.com

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