The More The Merrier In The Square

The countdown is on. That's right, just 2 1/2 more days until the Merry Month of May blossoms in Market Square — and we're not just talking about the lovely daffodils and other fantastic flowers planted around the Square by the wonderful Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, who are all joyfully green thumbs. The blooms we're waiting for are the many perennial events that will open in the Square during May. In fact, the Square events calendar is just about ready to burst with the weekly Farmers' Market, the Carnegie Library Reading Room and other welcome favorites. So, until we turn the calendar page to May, we're giving you a bit of a sneak peek.

Now during just the very first week of the fifth month of the year on the fifth day of May, we'll all be taking a virtual trip South of the Border for Cinco de Mayo, a festive celebration of Mexico's victory over the French army in 1862. Instead of battlefield recreations, you'll enjoy some muy caliente cuisine at one of the Square's Mexican style eateries, such as Moe's Southwest Grill or Chipotle — even Bruegger's will be serving a spicy jalapeno bagel and Southwest breakfast sandwich. And, though they won't be ready for Cinco, Las Velas is scheduled to open its doors very, very soon. Watch this space for more news about this much anticipated return on the Square.

No other event in the Square attracts as many people as the weekly Farmers Market. After all, it's hard to resist the tasty temptation of fresh from the field goodies delivered right to the heart of Downtown. Along with nature's best veggies and fruits, the Farmers' Market serves up hot lunches, desserts, flowers and more treats. The Market sets up every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting May 12. Let's just say that we're planting a seed so that you don't forget about this popular attraction.

You could say that May really gets off and running when the starting gun goes off for the beginning of the Pittsburgh Marathon. If you're in the running, then you already know that you'll need to have your Nikes laced up and ready to go at the starting line, which just happens to be at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street at 7 a.m. this year. One of nation's top long-distance races, the 26.2-mile course winds its way all over the city, across three rivers and up and down more than a few hills before coming to an end near Heinz Field on the North Side.  For those watching the race, Downtown is the perfect spot for viewing.  The full and half marathons cross through Downtown several times and while waiting for runners to loop back, what better place than Downtown to grab a coffee or other breakfast treat?  A quick walk over to the Northside and you're at the finish line celebration!

Of course, there's more than fun and games to what goes on in the Square. And what better what to show that Pittsburgh cares than donate a little elbow grease during HandsOn Pittsburgh 2011, May 20-21. Sponsored by Pittsburgh Cares, caring folks of all ages will volunteer their time to make our town an even better place through a variety community service opportunities. To catch the civic spirit, check out Pittsburgh Cares when they are in the Square the week of May 16.

If you want to get a good read on, then there's obviously no place better than Market Square. And if you really want to get a good read for the commute home on the bus or to escape during lunch, then make sure you bookmark this page for the return of the Carnegie Library's Reading Room, which opens a new chapter starting May 17.  This al fresco library pitches its tent in the Square this year, with a surprise twist. Instead of last year's every other week schedule, the Reading Room is open for business in the Square every Tuesday this year from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. You also can purchase the volumes of your choice — paperbacks 50 cents, hardcovers $1— and  the proceeds help support the library system.

Everyone knows that all roads lead to Market Square — well, at least we think they do. But did you know that many of the region's urban trails actually do take you to Downtown? Well, there's no better time than National Bike to Work Day to put your mettle to the pedal and spin your two-wheeler to Market Square to support the most fuel-efficient form of transportation around. We're looking forward to seeing more folk pedaling around town — but don't forget your helmet!

Other events to look forward to:
National Day of Prayer - May 5
A religious presentation - May 6
T-Mobile store event May 11
CEA/PA Continuing Education Fair May 18
Henne Diamond Dash May 21

For the most up-to-date info, check out the Market Square Events Calendar.

Let's hope that April's end also brings a close to month of showers — and a sunnier, even merrier month of May in Market Square.

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