Pittsburgh's giant pickle ornament bursts, just like all of our dreams

click to enlarge Downtown's

Photo: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Downtown's "dillflated" pickle

This holiday season is certain to be bleak. Coronavirus deaths are increasing rapidly, winter is setting in, and we are still somehow dealing with an election that ended weeks ago. On top of that, Pittsburgh has suffered another casualty: its giant pickle ornament has burst upon ins-dill-ation, dashing the hopes of a new Pittsburgh tradition of posing for a selfie with a giant, inflatable pickle.

The gherkin is hurtin', and it won't be coming back. According to a press release from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, "the Giant Pickle Ornament will be canned this year" after an unfortunate rip during installation let the air out of the balloon that was planned to spread joy over Downtown's EQT Plaza this holiday season.

“We don’t relish the idea of a season without the Ornamental Pickle, but a sliced pickle just won’t cut it,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the PDP. “This is a really big dill … but we still have a ton more to offer this holiday season. While this pickle may have deflated, our spirits for a great holiday season have not!”

The pickle was meant to honor the lesser-known tradition of families hiding a pickle ornament in Christmas trees. But with the air let out of its sails, the pickle currently lays conspicuously sad, unfurled on the plaza floor. It will be removed soon. Like this year's expectations of a normal holiday season filled with joy and devoid of drama, the pickle ornament has too let us down.

It joins a new Pittsburgh tradition of comic oddities like the Sinkhole Bus (which ironically has been memorialized has an ornament). The balloon is typically used for the popular Picklesburgh festival, but this year the balloon is nothing but a Pickleburst.

"This latest 'Picklesburst' is just another oddity to overcome on the long list of the year that is (still) 2020," reads the press release.