For the last few months, groups of friends have been building homemade "flying machines" and on Saturday, Aug 5 you can watch from the North Side as they launch themselves off a barge into the river in an attempt to see which wildest human-powered flying craft will fly the furthest to win the competition.
That's right, Red Bull Flugtag is coming to Pittsburgh.
Flugtag (or "Flying Day" in German) is presented in partnership with the ever-popular EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta from Aug 4-6. The Regatta will be a blast in and of itself – with music, food, fireworks, jet ski stunt shows and powerboat championships. But that's not all.
Pittsburgh takes the fun to even greater heights this year with the addition of Flugtag. Forty teams of five people each were chosen to build a flying craft centered around a theme of their choice. Each team then works to build their craft. The culmination occurs on Aug 5 when they will take a running start and push it off the flight deck and towards the river to see who can beat the current 258-foot record. Teams are judged on three criteria: flight distance, creativity of the craft, and showmanship. As Pittsburgh is home to some of the best colleges, universities, and industries (robotics, anyone?) around, we're fully expecting this to be a record-breaking year.
You'll see local teams from the National Aviary, Robert Morris University, Scarehouse Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Pirates' fan base (Left Field Loonies) all competing for local legend status. Besides the teams we've mentioned, the rest come from out-of-town areas such as Washington D.C., Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, so make sure to come cheer on your personal hometown hero.
Come for the flying machines but stay for some of the other quirky events happening this weekend. Watch the Red Bull Air Force Skydive team, one of the most elite skydive teams in the world, as they make their landing at the Three Rivers Regatta. There is an "Anything That Floats" race where teams build their own boats and try to keep them afloat. See the sights from a 90-foot Ferris Wheel, take photos of a 200 ton sand sculpture, and enjoy free concerts featuring national acts Easton Corbin and Smash Mouth.
Pittsburgh's Roberto Clemente Bridge becomes a pedestrian-only bridge for the weekend to make room for the Regatta Marketplace. You can stroll the bridge for some very unique shopping including Pittsburgh inspired hand crafted art, jewelry, candles, photography and more.
Have you ever seen a lighted boat parade? I know I haven't. End your day at the Regatta with this dazzling display of lights as locals luminate their boats and float down the Allegheny River.