Save The Square Dates — Now!

Okay, so maybe its cold and wet as we write this. But we're sticking with the idea that it really is springtime in Downtown. Especially when we check the PDP events calendar for all the happenings in Market Square — and all over Downtown — during April with even more in store for May, June, July and August when the city really heats up with great entertainment, fabulous food and so much more.  The City is in busy-mode approving permits for all the public spaces in Pittsburgh and the renovated Market Square is no slacker on that front.  It has really been embraced by local organizations, whether holding their first events in the Square or the annual return.

We really don't care if March is roaring out like a lion instead of whimpering like a lamb. That's because we're ready to paint the town red, white, green and just about every other color when PPG Pittsburgh Paints attempts to set the record for the world's largest paint swatch on April 1 (no fooling!) from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.. With a totally official judge from the Guinness World Record Book on hand to monitor the event, PPG will show how easy it is be to green with a 4 by 17 foot swatch in grassy hues. After the record setting event, the swatch will move to Two PPG Place, where it will be repainted various colors throughout the year based on popular public vote. Onlookers at this historic event will take home a free paint sample and discount coupons for PPG paints.

Spring is a great time to take a stroll around town. And it's even better when there's a great reason for putting your feet on the street. This year on April 10, Market Square is an official rest stop on the annual Walk MS fundraiser. Now maybe you're feeling a little bit rusty after a long winter layover. That's why the walk offers two options — a one-mile course and a 5k jaunt, which is just a little over three miles. Either way, the walk is an incredibly powerful way to join the movement to beat this disease that attacks the nervous system. To register, visit the MS Walk website today for more info and let your feet do the talking in the battle against MS.

Fair is fair and that's why the Women and Girls Foundation is once again sponsoring the Equal Pay Day Rally in the Square on April 12. This square deal event stresses that women deserve to be paid the same as their male colleagues who do the same type of work. Starting at noon, the rally will address the issue of just how far women need to go to reach parity on the pay scale with men.

The topic brewing during the April 15 Tea Party Rally in the Square will be "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs." Party supporters certainly will bring a critical mass to the scene, as a speaker is set to talk about economic opportunities created by the Marcellus shale seam throughout much of the northeast. And just a reminder, even though April 15 is the traditional deadline for filing taxes, this year's date is April 18. Now who says the IRS doesn't have a heart?

Speaking of hearts, do you know that coronary disease is the leading cause of death among women? It's true. According to the American Heart Association, five times as many women die of heart attacks than from breast cancer. On April 19, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the Go Red for Women Mission Rally will create a greater awareness among women about the realities of heart disease with a lunchtime demonstration of nutrition tips, exercise suggestions and free heart screenings. Sure this is serious business. But there will entertainment and a chance to win a gift certificate valued at $500.  Now that's something you can take to heart.

For most of us, paper cuts and sore backs are the worst work related injuries we'll ever suffer. But some workers face much more serious dangers. During the region's industrial past as well as over the past year many workers have paid the ultimate price in the workplace, making civilized life possible. On April 26, from noon-1p.m., the AFL-CIO and Allegheny County Labor Council pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the workplace.

On the radio, Tunch and Wolf — that's former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley — enliven gameday broadcast with their often humorous sideline insights. But these ex-NFLers have a serious side away from the gridiron as they help turn around the lives of the homeless. To preview their Walk for the Homeless, Tunch and Wolf will hold a mini-walk for local media April 20 with a stop in Market Square to present the Locker Room Leadership Award. You can step up, too, for this event and pace yourself around the Square.

Now we know that's a lot of activity — for April. So just wait to see what's in store in the months ahead when the Farmer's Market returns to the Square along with the weekly lunchtime concerts, Carnegie Library Reading Room and the KidsPlay program. To make sure you don't miss anything, check our events calendar often.

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