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Expect A Packed 4th Of July Downtown With Regatta, Pirates & Furries

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The next three days, expect the City of Pittsburgh to be bouncing with over half a million people.

"It's gonna be ridiculous especially on Friday," said Miesha Henriquez of Penn Hills. "I said I'm not coming down here Friday, so we're gonna get it done early so I don't have to worry about anything else."

Henriquez brought her family to the point for the start of the EQT Three Rivers Regatta, trying to beat the anticipated crowds the annual event, now in its 37th year, brings.

"When you add the furries, you add the pirates and other conventions that are here in town," said Michael Dongilli with the regatta, "I think it's gonna be pretty explosive."

"I've been here a few years ago and I saw the boats," said Edisa Kostic of Brentwood. "That was the Fourth of July and that was fun. Hopefully I can come out Friday and see the fireworks."

She's not alone, just on the Fourth there's 400,000 people expected to come downtown with the Pirate game letting out just before.

"Fourth of July is always a big day," said Ralph Reetz with ALCO. "Eerybody wants to come down to the fireworks, the regatta and the ball game so we anticipate it being very, very busy."

Reetz says ALCO will also be on a Pirates schedule, meaning lots will be open four hours prior to first pitch, except for Lot 2, which will open at 11 a.m.

What can you do when you get to the Regatta? Dongilli joined "The KDKA Morning News" with Larry Richert and John Shumway to preview some of the events taking place at the Regatta.

Along with the fireworks and speed boat races, there is plenty of food.

One of the events at the Regatta is an 80-foot long smoker and grill that can cook up to 2,000 pounds of meat at once.

Troy Landry from the show "Swamp People" is appearing at the Regatta too.

"The thing that's pretty amazing about that exhibit is they have this mechanical alligator that you can come down and ride and we've had people on (that ride) all day," Dongilli  said.

Regatta Spokesperson Michael Dongilli

Dr. Samuel Conway the chairman and CEO of Anthrocon joined Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about how the "furries" are more than just people in animal costumes.

Anthrocon Chairman and CEO Dr. Samuel Conway

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