Savor the Neighborhood, Stroll the Strip

  • By Sara Hess | Friday, June 14th, 2013

“A little bit shopping, a little bit culture, a little bit bar crawl, a little bit progressive dinner, a little bit music, and a lot of fun and surprises; Stroll the Strip has something for everyone to enjoy,” said Cynthia Helffrich, Communications Manager for Neighbors in the Strip. “Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the owners of some of their favorite businesses and experience the Strip in a whole new and personal way.”

Mark your calendars for June 27th, when the Stroll the Strip event will have you strolling and savoring the flavors of Pittsburgh’s Strip District with tastings and surprises at your favorite local businesses and discovering new ones. We got to know more about the event thanks to Cynthia, so keep reading to learn all about Stroll the Strip! 

Tell us more about Neighbors in the Strip.

One of our most important goals will always be to assist the exceptional businesses and individuals in the Strip to establish the Strip District as a center for innovation, creativity, ethnic culture and diversity, while preserving the unique character of this quintessential Pittsburgh neighborhood.

How was Stroll the Strip created?

NITS (Neighbors in the Strip) wanted to establish a signature event that would not only raise funds for the organization, but would also serve to showcase the diversity of what the Strip offers. The Strip is unique in that its evolution has not dependent on a single vision or the bland consensus of a committee, but rather reflects the confluence of the dreams of many individuals, creating a vigorous, distinctive and exhilarating experience.  In the Strip, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a weekly shopper, the thrill of “discovery” is always there.  We want to share that thrill of discovery with everyone.

Stroll the Strip benefits the programs and projects of Neighbors in the Strip, such as our website and other promotional endeavors to keep Pittsburghers and others aware of what’s happening in the Strip, as well as other projects to improve the infrastructure and facilities in the Strip.  At present, a particular focus is on pedestrian/bicycle/traffic safety.  We are working to improve traffic patterns in the Strip, one intersection at a time.

Why did you decide to sell tickets using ShowClix this year?

Oddly enough we were selected as Pittsburgh Magazine’s Great Places to Work in the same year as ShowClix and through that coincidence we met and became friends with Melinda Colaizzi who works at ShowClix and was also a resident of the Cork Factory.  We were impressed with what she told us about ShowClix and we have been big fans ever since.  In our initial test run of Stroll the Strip we sold tickets through our website, but with our small staff it was very difficult to manage and we vowed to use ShowClix forever after.

How can people enjoy the event? 

Visitors can enjoy the Strip on foot, but with so many places to visit, stretching from 12th to 27th Street, we are also offering the option of hopping on board the Pittsburgh Tour Company’s big red double decker bus which will be circulating through the Strip to pick up footsore Strollers.  Visit all of the locations, or spend more time at a favorite place, but be certain not to miss the After Party at Cruze Bar, with live music, dancing, raffle prizes, food and a drink and more!

What are some of your favorite places in the Strip?

It would probably be easier to list places in the Strip that are not favorites!  From day to day, week to week, month to month we find something surprising and wonderful in the Strip.  And just when we think there’s nothing more, someplace new and exciting opens like WindStax which has the potential to provide alternative energy sources at affordable costs to the consumer.  As we always say “There’s always something new and always an old friend in the Strip.”

There are 19 locations to visit on this tour, any recommendations for exploring? 

It will require focus to see them all and not get sidetracked.  We extended the hours to allow more time for strolling, but all I can suggest is to check the host locations for activities and products that most appeal to you and start there first.  Whether you want the cultural experiences of the History Center’s Civil War Exhibit, SCC’s international crafts, Pittsburgh Ballet or art and antiques, or a sample of some of the best food in the city at Osteria 2350, Lidia’s, or Wholey’s, a cool drink or stimulating espresso at the Harp & Fiddle, Rolands, or La Prima Espresso; to kick back and enjoy the music and more at Parma, to take a peek at the new and expanded space for Pittsburgh Public Market, or so much more! Strollers are certain to discover places and products that they can’t live without, and we hope that they will be encouraged to come back to the Strip often.

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