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Pittsburgh's Fourth of July Fireworks, Great Race Returning This Year

A statue of Pittsburgh Pirates' Roberto Clemente is silhouetted by a fireworks display.
Gene J. Puskar
A statue of Pittsburgh Pirates' Roberto Clemente is silhouetted by a fireworks display.

As the pandemic restrictions ease this summer, two major Pittsburgh events are returning: the Independence Day celebration at Point State Park and the Great Race.

The City of Pittsburgh will hold its annual July Fourth celebration this year at Point State Park. Last year’s events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials announced Monday that a family-style picnic will be held in the evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with music and food vendors. Fireworks will begin at twilight.

City residents are also encouraged to celebrate the holiday with neighborhood block parties. The city will waive the $25 block party permit fee for the July Fourth holiday. A permit will provide applicants with two city-issued barricades to close off one block of a residential street.

Block parties also receive some exemptions from noise ordinances. Permits must be submitted by June 23.

In a statement, city officials reminded residents that setting off fireworks within city limits is illegal.

Also returning this year are the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race and Dollar Bank Junior Great Race, which will be held Sept. 25 and 26. The Great Race was modified into a virtual event last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, city officials alluded to future announcements about summer resources and activities but did not provide details. Pittsburgh has not yet set an opening date for the city’s pools. In a statement, officials said that information would be announced soon.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.