pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri

Sunday, October 5, 2008

HAPPY 250th Pittsburgh!!!

This weekend was the city of Pittsburgh's 250th birthday. The city celebrated by having the largest fireworks display this town has ever witnessed. Fireworks were shot of from 18 different locations on Saturday night. Explosives were ignited from the US Steel building, the bridges which stripe the city, and barges floating in the three rivers. The million-dollar extravaganza was complete with a flotilla, concerts in the park, and a 335-mile bicycle ride from Washington along the Great Allegheny Passage. 

Festivities started early yesterday morning, when each of the Three Rivers was closed for a flotilla that included more than 100 ships, including the Delta Queen. The morning's opening ceremony included a historic flag ceremony in which dozens of area Eagle Scouts carried a huge American flag from one end of Point State Park to another. The party celebrated the people who made Pittsburgh what it is, like steelmaker and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and the things that will shape its future. "The whole theme is Pittsburgh: Imagine what you can do here," said Bill Flanagan, director of Pittsburgh 250, which organized the yearlong celebration.

After the French abandoned what was then Fort Duquesne in 1758, Forbes renamed the outpost Pittsburgh in honor of British Prime Minister William Pitt. Because of the rivers, the city was considered the Gateway to the West and evolved into an industrial giant, only to lose much of its manufacturing base in the last two decades. It has become a center for science, medicine and technology, whose hills and riverfront make it a tourist destination.

Myself and many Pittsburghers are hopelessly dedicated to this city. As much as I complain, I still love this city and believe it offers just as much if not more than other cities. We as Pittsburgh residents have to take advantage of what we have and support all the wonderful things here. There is so much to do and celebrate in the city, but many don't take advantage of it. They would rather hide in the suburbs. People who live here must "act and think like tourists." If we do, we will have another 250 years to celebrate. I know the Steelers are a great team which we all love, but there is more than a team to rally around and get excited about as residents of this great city. Long live Pittsburgh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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