The EQT Three Rivers Regatta is Here! – A FamilyFunPittsburgh Know Before You Go Guide

photo courtesy Three Rivers Regatta

by Janet Jonus

The Regatta takes over the Point, the Allegheny River, and the North Shore for three days of Family Fun.

You know the saying, “You Gotta Regatta”. The EQT Three Rivers Regatta hits Point State Park and the Allegheny River this weekend, August 3-5. With action on the water and on land, the Regatta has thrills, spills, sand, music, food, Frisbee dogs, and Anything That Floats.

“The Regatta has a rich tradition of family fun along the city’s cherished three rivers. The weekend event isn’t just for the kids – it’s for the whole family! From the Sandsational Sand Sculpture to the Frisbee Dog Stunt Show presented by ALCOSAN, and powerboat racing to water athletes flipping on jet-skis, there’s activities that mom, dad, and the kids will enjoy,” according to Samantha Moyer, LionHeart Event Group.

The EQT Three Rivers Regatta kicks off on Friday August 3rd with music on the Main Stage, racing on the water, and all of the activities in Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh.

Friday August 3rd – Rock, Water, and Sand

Nevin James takes to the Main Stage at 1200PM. The Main Stage is on the city-side grassy area of Point State Park. 100.7 will be spinning discs through much of the afternoon. Bad Custer is on from 600PM – 700PM. The day ends with 1990’s rock band Sugar Ray from 800PM – 900PM.

The Allegheny River hosts the water portion of the Regatta. With viewing from both Point State Park and the North Shore, there is room for everyone. The F-Lights Powerboat Trials start at 1200PM followed by USA Jet-Ski Freestyle Championships have their trials at 200PM, 530PM, 730PM, and 900PM featuring a freestyle jet ski show with a winner, the Three Rivers Regatta Freestyle Champion, to be crowned later in the Regatta. The USF1 Powerboat Trials run from 230PM – 530PM. USF1 Powerboats run a difficult obstacle course at speeds up to 150 miles per hour. 2018’s USF1 Powerboat Champion will be crowned on Sunday.

The North Shore Great Lawn on the banks of the Allegheny River is a great viewing point for water activities. It is also the scene of the Xpogo Stunt Show at 500PM, 600PM, 700PM, and 800PM. Xpogo is, an extreme pogo (as in pogo sticks) stunt show and a favorite with kids and parents. The North Lawn also has food vendors and a beer garden.

Land Activities

Point State Park is the home to much of the land-based Regatta activities and the largest crowds. The city –side grassy area on the Point hosts the Main Stage. Frisbee Dog shows, and other activities. The fountain-side has the Sandsational Sand Sculpture, the Kids Zone kids activities, and the AAA Travel to the Beach Kids Corner as well as viewing of the Allegheny River Water Activities and the Point State Park Fountain. Land activities are open daily from 1200PM – 900PM.

The crowd-pleasing K-9 Crew Trick Dog Shows are held on the city-side lawn at 100PM and 530PM on Friday August 3rd.

The city-side park is also the site of the popular food vendors. Expect typical Festival-fare – burgers, hot dogs, fries, BBQ, Chinese, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Travel under the Point tunnel to the Sandsational Sand Sculpture. The 150-ton sand sculpture celebrates the rich history trains and transportation of Pittsburgh. The giant sculpture will be created during the Regatta weekend.

The Kids Zone supported by Colcom is on the grassy area of the Fountain-side of the Park. Kids Zone activities are open daily from 1200PM-900PM. The Carnegie Science Center Art of the Brick will have an interactive display where kids can help to build a Lego mosaic art work. The Allegheny Land Trust will have educators on-hand with live specimens of the tiny creatures that inhabit our local rivers and streams. They also have a water-related word search. Children can pan for rocks and gems at Lost Creek Mining. The cost is $5.00 and up. The Kids Zone also has face painting and temporary tattoos for $5.00 and up and a caricature artist for $10.00 and up. There are also Giant Jenga and Connect Four games and sidewalk chalk for little artists.

The AAA Travel to the Beach Kids Corner takes over part of the Monongahela River Walk at Point State Park. The Point gets a beach with sand, water, and toys where kids are welcome to play in this popular attraction. While the beach takes up a part of the amphitheater, there is still plenty of room to walk between the beach and the river walk wall. FamilyFunPittsburgh tip: As you are playing in sand and it is likely to rain, keep in mind the sand can be wet and sticky. A change of clothing may be necessary. At the very least take some talcum powder. Talcum powder, used liberally and brushed off, is a good way to get sand off of skin. The beach is open daily from 1200PM -900PM.

The Regatta Marketplace is near Gateway Center on Liberty Avenue between Stanwix Street and Commonwealth Avenue. The Marketplace features local artists and artisans selling art, crafts, photographs, candles, and more. The Marketplace is open from 1200PM-930PM.

Food trucks will line Liberty Avenue. BRGR, Pita Pan, and Papa Wood’s BBQ are all scheduled to be at the Regatta.

Saturday August 4th – Anything That Floats and Fireworks

The Main Stage is rocking all day Saturday. Time Tested plays at 1200PM. The Dorals take the stage at 130PM. Bindley Hardware Company is on at 300PM and Donora is on at 430PM. The Buckeldowns play at 600PM and The Commonheart finishes out the Main Stage music for Saturday at 800PM.

Saturday events on the Allegheny River start with F-Lights Powerboat Trials at 1200PM. USA Freestyle Jet-Ski championships take to the water at 200PM, 630PM, 730PM, and 900PM. USF1 Powerboat Trials start at 230PM. The Red Bull Air Force Skydive is at 500PM. This precision skydiving team enthralls with their high-flying stunt show and the splashy landing.

The crowd-favorite, always fun Alcosan Anything That Floats Race starts at 530PM. The race pits amateur teams as they take to the Allegheny in Anything That Floats – and a lot of Things That Don’t Float (life jackets are required). The sometimes-floating parade of the interesting, funny, and wacky “boats” prove not everything is buoyant but it is fun to watch. Best viewing points are on the North Shore and at the Point on the Allegheny River side.

The North Shore Lawn has the Xpogo Stunt Show at 200PM, 600PM 700PM, and 830PM.

The Frisbee Dogs are in Point State Park at 230PM, 530PM, and 730PM.

The food court, the Sandsational Sand Sculpture, the Kids Zone, and the AAA Travel to the Beach Kids Corner are in Point State Park from 1200PM -900PM.

The Regatta Marketplace is open on Liberty Avenue from 1200PM -930PM. Food trucks will be on Liberty Avenue.

Saturday ends with the Regatta Thunder Fireworks Display at 930PM. Expect large crowds for this FamilyFun Favorite annual event.

Sunday August 5th – Champions are crowned

The Rivers of Steel educational boat, Explorer, is hosting an Open House from 1200PM-500PM. The Explorer is docked on the North Shore near the Carnegie Science Center. Come aboard and explore Pittsburgh’s history of innovation, science, and green technology.

The Main Stage is full on Sunday with North of Mason Dixon starting it all off at 100PM. Jessica Meuse takes the stage at 230PM. Jacob Bryant is on at 430PM. Smithfield plays at 630PM. Randy Houser closes out the Regatta Main Stage at 800PM.

There is a lot of action on the water on Sunday. New to the Regatta is the Pittsburgh Paddlesports Championships at 1230PM. The American Cancer Society, Performance Kayak Inc. and the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta are sponsoring the race which takes place along a 6-mile course on the Allegheny River. The event features professionals and amateurs in kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards.

The water action continues with the USA Freestyle Jet Ski Championship Finals at 330PM and 430PM. The F-Lights Powerboats Finals are at 500PM. The Red Bull Air Force Skydive takes to the skies over the Allegheny at 600PM. The USF1 Powerboat Finals finish off the water activities at 630PM. The Awards Presentation for the Champions will be held on the North Shore Great Lawn at 800PM.

Catch the water activities from the North Shore or from the Allegheny side of Point State Park.

The North Shore Great Lawn has the Xpogo Stunt Show at 130PM, 300PM, and 400PM. The North Shore also had food vendors and the beer garden.

Point State Park has ongoing activities including the food court and food vendors, the Sandsational Sand Sculpture, the Kids Zone, and the AAA Travel to the Beach Kids Corner. Activities are open from 1200PM -900PM.

The Regatta Marketplace is open on Liberty Avenue from 1200PM -930PM. Food trucks will be on Liberty Avenue during the Regatta.

The Basics

The EQT Three Rivers Regatta is expecting 700,000 people during the 3-day event with larger crowds on Saturday and Sunday. The Regatta stretches from Point State Park, down Liberty Avenue near Gateway Center, and over to the North Shore. The bridges across the Allegheny are not closed to traffic. The easiest way to get between the North Shore and Downtown Pittsburgh is the T. The ride is free. Gateway Center Station is in the heart of the Downtown Regatta activities. The North Shore T station is close to the North Shore Great Lawn. Lyft is the official ride share partner of the Three Rivers Regatta with an exclusive drop-off and pick-up lane in front of the Wyndham Grand.

Bathrooms are Port-a-Pots located near the Wyndham Grand, near the Sandsational Sand Sculpture on the Fountain-side of Point State Park, near the Fountain in Point State Park, and near the North Shore Great Lawn area. There are no dedicated baby changing areas or nursing areas.

Food vendors are located in Point State Park and the North Shore Great Lawn. Food trucks are located on Liberty Avenue in Downtown.
Parking is downtown or on the North Shore. Check with http://parkpgh.org/. The T stops near the Regatta activities Downtown at the Gateway Center stop and the North Shore stop for North Shore activities. Numerous Port Authority bus routes stop near Gateway Center and Liberty Avenue.

For more information about the Regatta, check here: http://yougottaregatta.org/

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