Pitt Battles Florida State in ACC Debut; Rib Fest; End of Summer Activities (CP’s Mon. 9/2/13)

1) The Pitt Panthers football team kicks off their first season in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) in a big way today against the Florida State Seminoles (ranked no.11 in the AP poll). There could be an Ozone action alert with all the smoke generated near Heinz Field between the Rib Festival and Pitt tailgate parties.  The Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival ends today. The festival features some of America’s top rib vendors reflecting the nations diverse barbecue tastes. Adding great music to tasty ribs and cold beverages makes a perfect trifecta. Tonight’s entertainment sports a country twang with David Nail at the free Pitt Panther’s pre-game celebration at Stage AE (6 p.m.). Noon – post-game, free admission to Rib Fest. Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.

2)  “Kennywood’s open.” No, we don’t mean the local slang usage, we mean the actual amusement park. The park’s latest attraction, Black Widow, is a high spinning/swing ride that gives riders a nice vantage point of the park. For roller coaster enthusiasts, there’s  Thunderbolt, Racer, Jack Rabbit, Phantom’s Revenge, Exterminator, and Sky Rocket. If it’s a hot day and you feel like getting a little wet, check out the Log Jammer, Pittsburg(h) Plunge, and Raging Rapids. Kennywood also features thrill rides, classic rides, dark rides (snuggle up with that special someone), Kiddie Land, daily entertainment AND its famous Potato Patch French Fries. 10:30 a.m – 9 p.m. 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.

3)  Sandcastle’s last day of the summer season is today and they’re  featuring the new”maximum thrill” Dragon’s Den tube ride, where you slide around the rim for awhile and then enter the belly of the beast for a dark mist-filled trip. There’s also Lightning Express speed slide  where you zoom down a 60 foot high open water slide.  What a concept! A water-amusement ride, , where you combine fear of heights with fear of the water. A real two-fer. Luckily, Sandcastle has good people who look out for us “regular Joes”  and make it a fun and safe experience.  If it gets too scary, there’s always their Lazy River leisurely raft ride and Wet Willie’s Water Works, and the Tad Pool for kids Mon-Tsunami is the cleverly named, wave pool attraction. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1000 Sandcastle Dr., Homestead.