PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s going to be a busy Fourth of July holiday around Downtown Pittsburgh, and it all starts this weekend with the opening of the Three Rivers Regatta.

The Regatta kicked off Saturday and promises to be bigger and better than ever, not only does it last five days this year instead of three; there are also all kinds of new activities.

Regatta-goers braved Saturday’s intense heat to check out the festivities in Point State Park.

“The weather is good today compared to yesterday,” said Tony Wiles, a Regatta-goer. “It was really hot yesterday.”

The heat didn’t keep away the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s polar bear mascot or even the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Iceburgh.

Some folks cooled off by the playing in the mist. Others pretended it was wintertime by skating on the synthetic ice rink.

“It’s humid,” said another Regatta-goer. “It’s not my favorite, but it’s tolerable today, more so than yesterday.”

On the North Shore, Pittsburgh native and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino signed autographs and visited with fans in the AARP Road Trip tent.

“It’s great to come back to Pittsburgh obviously; and it’s a cool weekend right, you know, the Regatta and you got Kenny Chesney here and everybody’s out and we’re doing an AARP Road Show here,” said Marino. “It’s fun.”

Photo Gallery: Check out more scenes from the opening of the Three Rivers Regatta!

The Regatta’s signature powerboat races though don’t take to the water until Sunday.

Saturday was all about the mouthwatering food choices and exhibits like the 150-tons of sand that have been sculpted to perfection by the Sandsational Sand Sculpting team.

“It’s beautiful. It’s just remarkable,” Michelle Wehrheim, a Regatta-goer, said of the sand sculpture. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

The Regatta will wrap up on Fourth of July with a special fireworks display. They’ll be choreographed to music and honor our men and women in uniform.

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