PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The EQT Three Rivers Regatta starts this Friday, but all the recent rain is raising some concern for organizers.
Currently, there are some concerns about whether the Formula One power boats will be able to race in the river.READ MORE: Allison Park Church Holds Food Distribution Event At Beaver Valley Mall
Rain has led to an increase in logs and branches on the rivers and that could spell trouble for the power boats.
“We have a very high flow in the river,” said Jeff Hawk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We have about 50 thousand cubic feet per second right now. Normally it would run at about 7700.”
Debris is what concerns the folks at the Regatta with their Formula One boats on the way.
“It could take off a propeller, the boat could flip, a number of things could happen, particularly at those speeds,” said Regatta Board Chairman John Bonassi.
Bonassi says the river conditions are a wait-and-see for everything the Regatta puts in the water, including the Dragon Boats and everything that floats.
Officials have altered the schedule in previous years because of the weather, but they can’t remember a time when they had to cancel the boat races.
Last month, officials announced the return of the power boats and said it was in line with the Regatta’s “History of Pittsburgh” theme.
“Formula One power boats have not been here for a number of years. But the history was, in 1982, the first-time Formula One power boats ever raced in the United States were at the Pittsburgh Regatta,” Derek Weber, of Peony Entertainment,” said.READ MORE: New Ordinance Allows Food Truck Operation In Monessen
For more information on the 2015 EQT Three Rivers Regatta, click here: http://www.yougottaregatta.com/
Fourth of July fireworks will be provided by Pyrotechnico of New Castle. There will also be live music on five stages, including the Clemente Bridge. Sandsational Sand Sculptors are back for the fifth straight year, to craft a distinctly Pittsburgh theme.
“This year’s sand sculpture, we wanted to base it on a little bit of Pittsburgh history,” says company owner Jill Harris. “So we decided to do steelworkers.”
Grueling hours of steel mill work are revealed in astonishing detail. Speaking of hard work, a crew of seven needs only eight hours to construct the first Ferris wheel to appear at a regatta here in Pittsburgh.
“It’s 90 feet tall, and there are sixteen gondola seats, and they can carry one to six people in each one,” says owner Garth Nicely. “We do about 32 events a year, starting in Florida, working our way north. And just like the birds, when it gets cool we head back south.”
The circling web of steel is also a nod to Pittsburgh history. The very first Ferris wheel was built by a Pittsburgh man by the name of George Ferris, for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. It was three times as big as the one in Point State Park.
But the mobile Ferris wheel’s claim to fame emerges after the sun goes down. it becomes the “Wheel of Lights.”
“The LED lights will come on, and this particular system has fifteen different patterns,” the owner says. “It will run swirls and flashes, and does things you haven’t really seen on a Ferris wheel.”
The wheel will start carrying riders some time on Thursday. But Garth Nicely says there are some who “can’t wait to ride it. They would ride it today, if it was open.”MORE NEWS: UPS, United Way Team Up For 5K Benefit Race