Fourth of July Pittsburgh Style (CP’s Thurs. 7/4/13)

1) America’s largest inland regatta, the 2013 EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, continues today along the banks of (and on) the Allegheny River, including grassy Point State Park and the North Shore’s meandering river-walk.  Attractions include one of the nation’s biggest powerboat races, the Powerboat Superleague North American Championships;  The Marvelous Mutts, a talented bunch of canines who perform free-flying feats including leaps into a 14,000 gallon pool of water; and the Anything that Floats race (10 a.m. today).  There’s everything a large, FREE family festival would conjure up in your Fourth of July imagination:  a burger-eating contest, bands, food, sand sculptures, “Beach Burgh,” a “Kid’s Zone,” and for the first time ever, two nights of dual fireworks across the night sky.

Today’s highlights include the F-2 Powerboat North American Championships. Time trials start at 2 p.m., followed by qualifiers at 4:30 p.m., Championship race, 7 p.m.  Musical performers are Justin Hines (singer/songwriter who’s disabled and an international star, 6 p.m.); The Chain (Fleetwood Mac tribute band, 7 p.m., Point State Park stage);  Rick Larrimore (Rod Stewart tribute, 7 p.m., Rivers Casino Amphitheater); and Granati Brothers (classic rock, 8:15 p.m., Point State Park). Billed as one of the nation’s Top Ten fireworks shows, EQT “Flashes of Freedom” Fireworks Fantasia launches the first  sky rockets at 9:35 p.m. Today’s hours: 8 a.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m. Free. Downtown and North Shore.

2) It’s the Fourth of July and what better way to celebrate with one of America’s favorite pastimes, baseball. The Pirates play our cross state rivals the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1:35 p.m. game. You’ve heard of locust invasions, look out… for an invasion of Phillies fans around town. Here’s to sending them home in a bad mood! PNC Park North Shore.

3) Another favorite American pastime is going to the movies. Early July releases that are now showing  include the animated film Despicable Me 2 (PG), The Lone Ranger (PG-13) starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, and  Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (R) chronicles the comedian’s 2012 world-wide concert tour. Check your local movie house or megaplex for movies and times.

4) How about topping off your Fourth with a favorite American dessert–pie! You could go to the farmers market and get some good local fruits and berries and make your own pie. Too hot for baking?  Sand Hill Berries fruit farm grows their own fruit, bakes delicious pies which can be purchased at a lot of area farmers markets) or you can  purchase a good one at your local bakeries. Some well-known Pittsburgh Bakeries are Prantl’s Bakery (Shadyside), Oakmont Bakery (Oakmont), Paddy Cake Bakery (Bloomfield), The Pie Place (South Hills), and the Party Cake Shop (Brookline). We were all born with a pie-hole so enjoy some pie and support local bakeries and farms!