"There's going to be so much to do Downtown," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh, after a news conference at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown this morning featuring several organizers. "It's going to be a very exciting two weeks."
He estimated that more than 400,000 people would visit Downtown between June 7 and 16, drawn to the Golden Triangle by family-friendly events including the reopening of the fountain at Point State Park, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, Pittsburgh Pride events, several Pirates games and a ceremony marking the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage trail.
"It shows the vibrancy of the city," said Mr. Davis about the confluence of so many events.
One of the first will be the reopening of the fountain, which has been closed for renovations since 2009. In recent weeks, the fountain has been turned on for short tests, but at a 5 p.m. ceremony June 7 it will be officially turned back on accompanied by music shows.
Once the sun sets, the fountain will be illuminated with a special lighting display titled "Pittsburgh: Spectral Ascending," which will in place from June 7-9. Six laser projectors fixed at the top of PPG Place will aim at the top of the 150-foot column of water rising from the center of the park fountain. Additional light displays will be arranged throughout the park, and the Riverlife organization is encouraging boaters and kayakers to illuminate their own crafts around the Point.
The fountain display will cap the end of the first day of the 10-day free Three Rivers Arts Festival. The Jazz festival will take place on stages throughout the Cultural District June 7-9.
Pittsburgh Pride, the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender celebration, will feature a pub crawl through the Downtown, Lawrenceville, Shadyside and South Side neighborhoods June 14, a concert featuring Adam Lambert June 15 and a march June 16, both Downtown.
The completion of the final segment of the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail will be celebrated June 15, with a ribbon-cutting at Sandcastle in West Homestead, followed by a bike parade to Point State Park.
Eric Holmes, Zone 2 commander for Pittsburgh police, said there would be a visible police presence Downtown, and he asked members of the public to alert police with any concerns.
To get Downtown, Jeremy Waldrup of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership encouraged people to use bus routes or T service or ride a bike. Parking Downtown is also an option, he said, with more than 38,000 parking spaces available.
However they get Downtown, or whichever events they attend, people who come Downtown are asked to describe their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #pghWOW!