Neon & Nature: Party at the Pier 2012

September 2012

For a city whose identity is branded partly by its rivers, experiencing a Pittsburgh riverside often requires extra effort, so I was excited to learn about the Pittsburgh Riverlife Group. Their mission is “to reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts as the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic hub for the people of this region and visitors.” I was even more excited to attend the “Party at the Pier” fundraiser to see Riverlife put their mission into action (you may recall my giveaway to this event).

The Rivers Casino amphitheater truly came alive with both elements of the theme “Neon and Nature.” Bands played, neon clad guests mingled, and the Gateway Clipper cruised the river. The culmination of the party was the neon lit amphitheater, which enabled guests to take in the full scene of the party and the riverside. My special one and I were quite content to sit, sip our wine and people watch. Do you think we were neon enough?

A series of monochromatic, neon lit tents led to the green glow of the food tent. The menu featured an array of miniature delicacies on bamboo platters and tiny desserts. The chefs from the Rivers Casino prepared the menu and  sourced many of their ingredients locally. A few examples from the spread:

Yellow, red and white gazpacho shooters
Seared Lamb Loin with braised white beans, bacon, golden raisin, pine nuts and mint
Grilled corn with chipotle mayo, cojita cheese and lime zest 

It wouldn’t be a Pittsburgh event without a fireworks display…

It was a night unlike the rest, a brightly colored break from the normal city offerings, and hopefully that night will lead to more riverside endeavors. Let’s all stay tuned for more developments from Riverlife!

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