For several days in June, Downtown will be the place to be.
Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh, estimated 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 events, after a news conference at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown on Thursday morning.
One of the first events will be the reopening of the fountain in Point State Park, which has been closed 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 on.
Once the sun sets, the fountain will be illuminated with a special lighting display that will be 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.
"As the sun goes down, the whole park is going to be coming alive with lights," Riverlife spokesman Stephan Bontrager said.
The fountain display will cap the end of the first day of the 10-day free Three Rivers Arts Festival, now in its 54th year. Overlapping with the festival will be the jazz festival, happening on stages throughout the Cultural District on 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 on Liberty Avenue June 15 and a parade Downtown June 16.
The completion 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 for a party and dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. on the Three Rivers Arts Festival main stage.
Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Eric Holmes of Zone 2 said there would be a visible police presence Downtown.
People who come Downtown for events in June are asked to describe their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #pghWOW!
Kaitlynn Riely: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1707.