What are Pittsburgh musicians’ favorite ways to spend the holidays? | Holiday Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

What are Pittsburgh musicians’ favorite ways to spend the holidays?

The holiday season is the biggest travel time of the year. Many leave Pittsburgh, but just as many stay and enjoy the snow, lights, and festive spirit. Pittsburgh City Paper asked a few local bands and musicians their favorite way to spend the holidays in the steel city.

Chalk Dinosaur

I like to have a big outdoor fire at my parent’s house in Franklin Park with my family. Other than that, I sometimes like to catch a show at the Rex Theater, go to Phipps, walk around Market Square, or go to the movie theater.

Becki from Garter Shake

First is the Holiday Hootenanny! I absolutely love seeing the different local musicians getting together and playing fun holiday songs. I was lucky to be a part of it the last three years and getting to be around so much talent is just inspiring. Pittsburgh is lucky to have so many fantastic musicians. 

Another thing I love is the holiday market in Market Square. It's so neat to see all the fun gifts and crafts for sale, and you stumble across some awesome local musicians some nights as well.

Also, if you haven't had the frozen eggnog margarita at Tako ... you haven't quite lived yet.


Dave, guitarist: The best Christmas I had, where I didn't leave the country, involved going to a movie and then getting sushi.    

John, drums and vocals: My favorite way to spend the holidays, although it doesn’t usually work out this way, involves lots of sleep and/or watching a movie at home with my better half and our pets.

Johnny, bass: My favorite way usually involves listening to a lot of loud music and/or watching something that’s visually intense. I also like hanging lights and have a sweet tooth, so there’s usually an appreciation for colorful lighting and sweet stuff happening around that time for me.

Scratchy Blanket

Holidays are difficult for some of us, to be honest. It’s stressful seeing [relatives], but there are groups of young people in the music community who band together during the holidays because several of us don’t go see family. Our friends become family and we help each other through the season.


I celebrate all holidays in the ‘burgh with a trip to Bob’s Garage for karaoke, followed by Brillobox to see their light display, and finally, a late night stroll through the Allegheny Cemetery.

If it’s October and November holidays, I spend it in Ian Brill’s Light Vault at Spirit, especially Nov. 11 for the BjORDAN show [laughs].