Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta opens

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PITTSBURGH —

The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta has opened with events for children, including bicycle and pogo-stick stunt shows, as part of a three-day celebration culminating with an Independence Day fireworks show.

The regatta, which also features powerboat races on the city's three rivers -- the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio -- used to be separate from the Fourth of July festivities. But the celebrations merged in 2004 and with the Fourth falling on Thursday, the regatta opened Tuesday.

About a half million people are expected to attend the events, including a concert by Jefferson Starship and massive fireworks displays Wednesday and Thursday nights.

You can also watch the EQT Flashes of Freedom Fireworks Fantasia on Channel 11 in high-definition. David Johnson and Stephen Cropper will be your hosts beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service said if severe weather hits, lighting could pose the biggest threat.

“If we do sense that, or we know major storms are approaching, events more than likely will have to close for a period of time until that threat passes, particularly on the river, too, with the things that we're doing there,” said event manager Michael Dongilli.