The 2012 Officially Unofficial PirateFest Guide


Pirates owner Bob Nutting signs autographs for confused youngsters at PirateFest

The Pittsburgh Pirates will open the doors to their 23rd Annual PirateFest today for season ticket holders. If the crowds at the Caravan stops this week are any indication, the attendance records will be shattered.

In the past year, the Bucs have made great strides in new media and it’s made a huge impact on the interaction among the team and their fans, especially the younger demographics.

We are a fan of the new PirateFest dates the Pittsburgh Pirates selected last year. Some of you hate it and your reasons make perfect sense. The event will be Saturday from 10am to 7pm and noon to 5pm on Sunday. If you want to see the complete schedule, or need tickets, click those links to the Bucs site.

Tickets are $12 for adults (no change over last year) and $6 for kids under 14 which is a $2 increase over last year.

DO:  Say hello to some of your favorite Buccos like Andrew McCutchen,  Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Starling Marte and others.

DON’T:  Forget to hit me up on Twitter.  It looks like we will be in the brand new Bucs Social VIP area some of the time.

BucSocial VIP Area

Followers of the Pirates social media sites were given an opportunity to win passes to the Pirates exclusive BucSocial VIP area simply by following the Pirates on Twitter.  A special meet and greet with Pirates players, coaches and celebrities in our #BucSocial VIP Area, a chance to create content for our social media channels, an opportunity to interview players and more!

Here is the schedule* that is subject to chnge for that private area:  Friday: 6:00 p.m. – Neil Walker and Starling Marte, 7:30 p.m. – Jared Hughes and Bob Walk.   On Saturday:   2:00 p.m. – Pedro Alvarez, 4:30 p.m. – Jeff Locke and John Wehner, 5:30 p.m. – Jay Bell and Sunday:  1:00 p.m. – Michael McKenry and Tim Neverett, followed by 2:00 p.m. – Kent Tekulve and Steve Blass

DON’T: Forget to pay attention to 93.7 The Fan, the radio home of the Pirates. They have been doing ticket giveaways and will be on site throughout the weekend.

DO: Make sure your phone, cameras, video cameras, etc are charged up.


Gaby Sanchez was tweeted by the Pirates with his new hat

DO:  Follow the event on twitter to see if the Pirates do anything cool like giveaways. And it’s a great way to catch up with your twitter friends too.

DON’T: Park near the Convention Center. Cheaper alternatives are available a few blocks away. Follow the ParkPgh link for some suggestions, or utilize GPS.

DO: Park at the Convenion Center if you enjoy the convenience of simply jumping on the garage elevator, and riding the escalator up to the show.  You will be walking and standing a lot so wear fresh kicks.

DO: Be certain you bring something to do while standing in line, and the lines are always long,  Make sure you have the kids bring their DS so they don’t drive you crazy while you wait.

DON’T: Miss out on the Pirates Authentics, along with Hunt Auctions, those booths have the cool memorabila.  Hunt will also be offering appraisal services at no charge upon paid admission to Piratefest with categories including autographs, cards, bats, tickets, programs, and game-used items.  Fans who wish to arrange for a specific timed appointment or need assistance in the handling of their items may contact for more details.

DO: Dress the kids for action. There will be the KDKA Field where Pirates coaches give some very good instruction.

DON’T: Drink like a madman the night before you go. The Central Blood Bank will be there and the holidays are a great time to donate blood.

DO: Dig around for some old Pirates memorabila this week. The Pirates veterans on hand are quite impressive including Doug Drabek, Kent Tekulve, and of couse Steve Blass, Bob Walk, and new hitting coach Jay Bell will be around all weekend.  If  you forget or can’t find any, there is a table that sells pictures, but often they run out so be sure to grab them up quick.

Click the link below for the downtown map

DON’T: Eat anything inside the Convention Center unless you are starved. Here is a link to a map with tons of great alternatives within a ten minute walk from PirateFest. Unfortunately, the event doesn’t even have a cool place to just relax. (Unless youre a season ticket holder) So if you want to eat some real food or catch sports you’re out of luck. What you will have to do is plan an escape downtown. Be sure you pick a good break time and go check out some of our favorite establishments. (If you have any other places to check out that might be a bit closer, be sure to leave it in the comments for others)

6 Penn Kitchen (Sixth and Pennsylvania, 412-566-PENN) has an open kitchen, cocktails and craft beer. Caribbean Fusion and veggie delights that always get grea reviews.  Hit em up on Four Squarea or here’s a link.

Brillobox (4104 Penn Avenue, 412-621-4900) is not in the Strip, but it’s rather easy to get over there. Brillobox has absolutely great beer selection, cocktails, and of course a very cool scene.

Eleven is with the bigburrito company. I’ve never been inside, but have heard great things.

DON’T: Forget your iPod, earplugs, or Sony Walkman. The Bucs are holding a singing contest once again this year for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem.

DO: Pay close attention to the schedule. If you manage your time wisely, it’s impossible not to see everybody you want to see. It might be necessary to prioritize, but it can be done.

DON’T: Forget to bring a bag to take home all of the merch you will accumulate. This is especially true if you don’t park inside the Convention Center. Walking back and forth to your vehicle a few blocks away will get tiresome.

Let’s Go Bucs!