You've already missed at least a week of walleye, muskie, sauger and pike season. You may just be in time for the first meeting of the Pittsburgh Banjo Club in 2004. And if you hurry, you could make the starting gun of the Frostbite Footrace. OK, it's in Sharon, Pa. But from the events listed on the very first week of the "Pittsburgh Pleasures" calendar -- the annual compilation from Dorothy Miller at New Pittsburgh Publications -- it's clear that the new year holds much to distract us from our budget woes.
Sure, some listings sound more like warnings ("Watch for Pirates Season Opener," on April 2; "Watch for Pittsburgh Steelers Home Opener" on Sept. 2) or sad laments ("Watch for Pittsburgh Marathon" on May 2). Other calendar entries might be more useful if they were warnings: "Watch for Small Game Season" on Oct. 18 perhaps should be "Watch for the People With Guns Who are Watching for Small Game Season."
And what's new to the calendar isn't always new to the city -- Pittsburgh's PrideFest, a gay pride parade and gathering, has been held in June for many years but made the "Pleasures" calendar for the first time only this year. "Pleasures" does take initial note of other, less well-publicized happenings: Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club, for instance, which does its windy thing at Cooper's Lake in Slippery Rock from March through December, on the first Sunday of every month, except August, when the tails spin in Treesdale Park in the North Hills past Warrendale.
Also fresh for 2004 are the Jitney Drivers Ball at the Coliseum in Homewood on Nov. 20, a Korean festival in May, and a Filipino film fest in Oakmont on June 15. The Jane Austen Society, apparently laboring quietly in our midst lo these many years, holds the author's birthday tea in mid-December. Who says this place isn't jumping?
Concludes Miller: "We're almost ridiculous, the amenities we have here."