Military Family Honored

Hot Air Balloon Ride Will Honor Military Families

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A hot air balloon will fly over the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta for the first time in a decade.

According to its website, “The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, Inc., a nonprofit organization, is devoted to helping people get the most out of the rivers and waterways of Western Pennsylvania through programs that promote water safety and the recreational usage of the rivers by all.”

“This August, you have to come to Point State Park and help us honor Pittsburgh’s renowned history, vibrant present and exciting future. With music, boating, food, fireworks and family fun, the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is where the Pittsburgh community comes to celebrate the city we call home and the waterfront we love and depend on.”

The hot air balloon, known as the DreamShip, will honor American military families. Its design symbolizes the hopes and dreams of the children of military families, according to a news release.

The balloon stands eight stories tall and displays 130 illustrations drawn by the children of fallen or wounded soldiers, as well as Folds of Honor scholarship recipients. The illustrations, which depict what the kids aspire to be when they grow up, are meant to express the hopes and dreams of those left behind by our nation’s veterans.

“On August 4th, 5th, and 6th, the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is celebrating our 40th anniversary! The three-day land, air and water festival, is the largest inland regatta in the nation and one of the tri-state region’s largest summer events, which this year will include some exciting new additions, as well as familiar favorites. We’re talking Formula One powerboat racing, Red Bull Flugtag, jet ski stunt shows, live performances by Easton Corbin & Smash Mouth, and that’s just the start of it,” says the event’s Facebook page.

The Red Bull Flugtag, which is also participating in the event, will be flying to Pittsburgh for the first time for the Regatta’s 40th anniversary celebration.

“Red Bull Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, is taking place on the North Shore Great Lawn on August 5. Forty teams of five will be chosen to build a homemade flying craft and attempt to fly their design off a 22-foot-high flight deck into the Allegheny River,” according to the organization’s site.

The Flugtag will feature a flying parking chair.

“Why not bring out the best Pittsburgh tradition ever — the Pittsburgh parking chair — and tell the world all about it?'” said John Chamberlin, the YaJagoff podcast host.

“This thing was actually on the streets since 1970. A neighbor, Stan, and his wife, Stella, used it for all these years in front of their house,” said David Calfo, a salvage artist.

“We’re planning that they should probably build a landing deck on Station Square because we think ours is going to go that far,” Chamberlin said.

“It’s going to cut through the air. It’s going to drop. As it drops, it’s going to move forward,” Calfo said.

“We’re going to show what the Pittsburgh parking chair is in our dance routine before we go off the deck,” Chamberlin said.

The design, which Calfo has been working on in Lawrenceville, was inspired by his idea, “If Leonardo da Vinci watched Star Wars.”

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