Ready to spend a gorgeous fall weekend in Philly cheering on boaters as they race along the Schuylkill River?
On Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29, the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta coasts back into town for its 47th year, expecting to draw more than 8,000 athletes and upwards of 30,000 eager spectators.
- The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta returns to Fairmount Park this Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29.
- Races take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and are completely free to watch.
- The 2.5-mile course starts above the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and ends above Boathouse Row.
- Kelly Drive will be closed to traffic throughout the Regatta.
- A Parks on Tap beer garden pops up along the Schuylkill River Trail near Girard Avenue.
Athletes of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to Olympic-level racers, meet and compete at the regatta, which is one of the nation’s largest and most festive rowing events.
Where to Watch and Getting There
Spectators of all ages are encouraged to come out to the race, which takes place along a 2.5-mile course starting above the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and ending above Boathouse Row.
Race organizers recommend watching the races from near the Playing Angels Statue, which is about a mile from the finish line at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Fountain Green Drive.
Parking nearby is limited and Kelly Drive will be closed to traffic, so your best bet is to walk or use public transportation. Offsite parking is available for a fee, and a free shuttle will run continuously, stopping at pick-up and drop-off points along the 2.5-mile route.
On each day, the first race starts at 8 a.m., with the day’s program running through 5 p.m.
Competitors at all levels will strive for victory in more than 100 categories ranging from high school to father/daughter to masters races.
The Festival Tent & More
Be sure to check out the Festival Tent at the Playing Angels Statue, where fans and families can find up-to-the-minute information and view live streams of the races. The Tent is also a great spot to score official souvenirs as well as bites from some of Philly’s favorite food vendors.
New to the Regatta this year is the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off Challenge sponsored by Whole Foods Market. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, athletes’ families and supporters will compete for bragging rights over who makes the best, most nourishing meals for their teams.
Plus, traveling beer garden Parks on Tap serves up an encore of its summer season at the regatta, setting-up along the banks of the Schuylkill at a prime viewing spot in the last 400 meters of the race (between the Girard Avenue and Railroad Bridges along the Schuylkill River Trail). The beer garden will be open 11 am to 7 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
See you on the riverfront!