Fall Into The Square This Week

Can you believe it? This is the very last week of summer 2011. As we count down the days to the start of autumn — which happens to be this Friday — we're also looking forward to a busy fall season in Market Square. In fact, we sneaked a peek at our events schedule, and it's as packed as the T leaving Downtown at rush hour. So this week you can join us as we gracefully glide into fall with plenty to do in the Square.

The bounty of fall continues this Thursday at the Farmers Market from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. In fact, you can enjoy the best of the harvest when it comes to local produce, organic meats, flowers and some of the best food in town at the Farmers Market through mid-November. A favorite just about any time of the year, the Farmers Market actually spans three of the four seasons from late spring right up to the heart of autumn, bringing the freshest farm products and prepared foods right to the heart of the city.

We've got some bonus activities at the market this week. Renewal by Andersen will be onsight offering a chance to win replacement windows for your home.  As the weather gets chillier you'll be glad you upgraded. Along with being warmer, you'll have that cozy glow that comes from saving money on your energy bills.  Fall also means back to school, but not for all of us. Reading is Fundamental can help you curb those blues.  They'll be on hand to sign people up for their Everybody Wins! program.  It's is a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that pairs elementary school students with volunteers from local companies and other community organizations to share lunch, conversation, and good books.  And if these offers aren't enough, we'll be raffling off a $25 gift certificate to the Market Square business of your choice.  Help us make the Farmers Market better by filling out an eight-question survey and you'll be entered into the drawing.  Three lucky survey participants will be selected in October to enjoy a night on the town, Market Square style.

Plenty of people already pedal their way to town each day for work, shopping or just to grab a bite to eat in the Square before spinning back home. This Friday, Bike Pittsburgh invites all cyclists to drop by the Square for a breakfast of tasty pastries and refreshing beverages before heading off to the office. Bike Pittsburgh program director Lou Fineberg says the event will help everyone who attends discover how biking and other means of alternative transportation can help lower pollution, reduce traffic congestion, save on parking and improve your health. Plus, there will be a special announcement from the Port Authority for bikers who sometimes need a lift for themselves and their wheels. And most mysteriously, Lou promises a special "present" will be on hand during the event. Even though it will be carefully wrapped, Lou says what's underneath will be easy to figure out. To find out the secret, stop by the Square from 7:30-9:30 a.m. for this biker breakfast sponsored by the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, the Port Authority, Zipcar  and CommuteInfo.

If you're ready for the weekend, be sure to visit the Square for Tom Sarver's puppet show this Saturday. Internationally renowned, the founder of the Tom Museum on the North Side and part of a gallery exhibit currently open at Future Tenant on Penn Avenue, Tom will entertain and inform with a puppet show based on the classic Punch and Judy shows. And for those not running in the Great Race this Sunday, the Square is a Great Place to wait for those scampering through the streets of the city. Pick up a newspaper, a cup of coffee and a bite to eat and relax until your winner crosses the finish line.

Before we sign off for this week, here's a preview of what's taking place in the Square next week. We'll roll out the catwalk for a special opening of this must-see event — Pittsburgh Fashion Week. Join us on September 26 for a 7 p.m.  tent show that offers a glimpse of the hottest looks of the fall season. Not into fashion? Grab a drink at an outdoor cafe and enjoy the outdoor light show and a bit of people watching. For a different take on style, PPG Paints, Axor, Cambria and Splash, the city's fab design bath and kitchen fixtures store, team up for Design Squared in the Square, of course, on September 28 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

As summer fades into autumn, we're going to stop right here to search for that favorite sweater at the back of the closet. See you in the Square.

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