Things are heating up at the Rivers of Steel’s Festival of Combustion this year.

There will be live demonstrations including iron casting, blacksmithing, glassblowing, and welding. There will be hands-on activities of iron-scratch molds workshops, mosaics workshops, raku ceramics workshops, glass ornament workshops, hot crayons encaustics, and clay portraits. Enjoy a mini-tour of the Carrie Blast Furnace. Listen to music from local and national artists, including headliner Nikki Lane. Drink craft beer, eat food truck food, and try not to feel the burn watching hotter-than-hot flame performances. 

Now in its 5th year, it’s a celebration of our region’s industrial past but with a creative flair which showcases the talent of modern-day makers of industrial arts and American crafts. Admission includes access to the demonstrations, the iron garden tours, and the live music, but the furnace tour and most workshops are offered for an additional fee (price varies per activity from $5-$20). 

Your inner pyromaniac will thank you for being there as you watch the flames, heat, and masters of molten metal work their bright-arts magic. It’s a kid-friendly event and a great place to get creative and hands-on right alongside your bright-eyed, impressionable future pyros. And on the cooler end of things there’s even an artisan marketplace sure to light your fire without the risk of getting burned.  

The event gets bigger and hotter each year, the furnace tours sell out quickly (sign-up early), and in proper Pittsburgh-style the night ends with the hot-glowing bang of fireworks. 

  • Where: Carrie Blast Furnace – Carrie Furnace Blvd, Rankin, PA 15104
  • When: Saturday, September 28 1:00PM – 10:00PM
  • Cost: $30 in advance, $40 at the door, $0 for those under age 18
  • Tickets available here
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This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. When not focusing on her kiddos, you'll find her pursuing happiness and working on living the American Dream via one craft beer at a time. She blogs at and

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