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Pirates bringing back PiratesFest at the right time

For the first time since 2019, PiratesFest is back.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PiratesFest is back. I’ve only waited four years to shout it from the rooftops.

The once-annual gathering of Pirates fans and meeting of the minds will commence on Saturday, Jan. 6, inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The pandemic ripped away any chance of a 2021 or even 2022 PiratesFest that didn’t lift its wings off the ground in 2020 to begin with. An event to inspire fanfare and rally excitement around the ballclub, the Pittsburgh Pirates held the before moving it to PNC Park following the 2017 season.

WPXI reported that general public hours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with season ticket holders being admitted an hour earlier.

Hosting at PNC Park didn’t feel right. The vibe was fine, and cool to see the ins and outs of the ballpark, but the large open space of the convention center created a large variety of ways to experience the organization’s best qualities.

So, why now? It’s a sign of the times. Following a 14-win improvement from a season ago – the Pirates’ second-consecutive campaign losing 100 games – new life fills the streets of Pittsburgh that the 2024 club could be different.

It shouldn’t be surprising that now’s the time the organization is once again ready to face the music now that things are finally on the upswing.

The ‘ask Pirates management’ segment will be a must-watch for all Pirates fans in attendance. Will Tavis Williams, Ben Cherington, and Derek Shelton expose themselves to the general public instead of holding a closed-door Q-and-A for senior ticket holders?

My excitement level is at a seven for PiratesFest and will approach a nine come the morning of its triumphant return across the river.

The Pirates somewhat hid behind the friendly confines of PNC Park, where portions could be sectioned off and not visible to the general public. The same could be true at the convention center, but the floorplan and design make it apparent the old style will be making its return.

A 14-win improvement and realistic expectations of a playoff push in 2024 open the floodgates for the return of a familiar friend from the 2013-2015 playoff days. Why wouldn’t the Bucs want to show off the next generation and the most excitement around the team since at least 2018? (finishing 82-80).

Doesn’t it feel different? Yes, they need to make major moves in the offseason to show a true commitment to winning, but it feels like change is among us on the North Shore.

Buckle up for alumni and current player autographs, asking management questions, games, promotions, and much more the Pirates could bring to the table.