Fourth of July in Pittsburgh

Katherine Brockman

Downtown Pittsburgh’s Fourth of July Celebrations were put on by the EQT Regatta.  Among many other events there were boat races, laser shows, free concerts and, of course, fireworks!  The Regatta was from Saturday June 30th– Wednesday July 4th.

I made an appearance downtown on Saturday to check some things out.  My stay didn’t last long.  I was quickly overcome by the heat and a mob of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw fans and began my retreat.

Sunday was a little better.  I had the opportunity to stroll around Point State Park and check out the artificial skate rink and the beautiful sand carvings.  The artificial skate rink is an interesting idea.  Ice skating in the middle of summer is amusing and thus attracted many people.  However, I have to agree with the woman I overheard saying “they should have just made a roller rink.”  Unfortunately I did not ice skate as I didn’t bring my socks, but it looked like it was more of a fun idea than a fun time.

On the other hand the sand carvings were pretty awesome.  These talented people molded sand into a sculpture depicting the First Continental Congress.  I don’t think my sand castles do justice to what these people can do with sand.

I’m sure there were things to see on Monday, but unfortunately I didn’t see them.

Tuesday I made it down to Point State Park in time to see the Beach Party Boys.  Your typical cover band, but I did find myself whistling Beach Boy tunes afterward.  The real entertainment came afterward.  Lasertainment!  I was skeptical at first but very happy to be convinced otherwise.  The show started out like something I would see if I turned my screensaver on alongside some upbeat music.   It soon turned into something else.  Lasertainment!  Yes, it was still just a laser show but quite entertaining and appealing to the eye.  This is the type of light you definitely can’t look away from.

Finally the Fourth of July came.  My day began like anyone else’s on their day off.  Pancakes!  After pancakes, my boyfriend Andy and I rode the motorcycle to the North Side to check out the day’s events.  We saw some boats, a steel drum band, free samples of Turkey Hill ice cream, etc.  Despite all the fun we again retreated for some time to escape the day’s heat.

The final countdown to fireworks began!  Once again we hopped back on the motorcycle (a good way to combat parking issues) and rode down to the North Side.  The last event we saw before the fireworks was the F3 Powerboat Superleague North American Championships.  The final race got started around 7:30 and it was pretty amazing to see how fast these little boats go!  Around they went in a Nascar-like fashion until it was over.

We parked ourselves right next to Del Monte’s big pineapple and waited.  I kept thinking to myself how many people were around and wishing that it was a little less people-y.  I got a little pep talk from Andy and we decided to stay where we were.  It was worth it.  Soon enough the fireworks began and they were beautiful!  The sky lit up with blues, reds, silvers, and many other colors all over.  They started right at 9:35 and ended a little bit before 10.  The finale was spectacular!  Immediately after the fireworks everyone began walking speedily toward their vehicles.  Luckily the motorcycle was only 20 feet away so we beat the traffic!

I think the most important thing about the Fourth of July is to remember how lucky we are to be in this country.  Not only are we celebrating the birth of this nation; I think we are also celebrating the amazing people that keep America going.  Hence it should follow that we take the time to celebrate our nation’s birthday in an amazing way!  It just happens to be the case that Americans enjoy fireworks, boat races, and steel drum bands to celebrate this day!

Happy Fourth of July!


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