Stay cool and keep Rockin’ the Lockin’ at Kittanning Riverfront Park
Members of the Allegheny River Development Corp. are hoping free music by the water will draw crowds to Kittanning Riverfront Park on July 6 and 7.
The two-day Rockin’ the Lockin’ event will benefit the group that funds lock operations for recreational boaters on the Upper Allegheny River. It also will be the culmination of nine consecutive lock operation days along the river, as part of the ARDC’s Celebrate the Allegheny event beginning June 30.
Musical headliners will be The Clarks, who will take the stage in the park’s John P. Murtha Amphitheatre at 8:30 p.m. July 7.
The latest release from the perennial favorites of Western Pennsylvania music fans is “Madly in Love at the End of the World,” which came out June 8 and features 11 rock and alt-country tracks.
The Vagrants, another Pittsburgh band, will open for The Clarks at 5 p.m.
The weekend will begin with music by DJ Bubba at 6 p.m. July 6.
For party-goers arriving by water, there will be a blessing of the boats at noon July 7.
Food will be available for purchase, “everything from hot sausage to heat up your mouth to shaved ice to cool it down,” says ARDC president Linda Hemmes.
Vendor items will range from wine and clothing to motorcycle and watercraft equipment and accessories.
ARDC will conduct various raffles throughout the day July 7.
‘Lots to do, lots to see’
“There will be lots to do, lots to see,” Hemmes says. “Many of the nearby businesses also will have extended hours over the weekend.”
This is the second year for Rockin’ the Lockin’ at Riverfront Park, Hemmes says.
“We had 72 boats last year and that was without a big name band,” she says. “This year we’re hoping for in excess of 100.”
Hemmes says the ARDC is hoping the event will pull in more than $20,000 to support lock operation.
Since 2015, the ARDC has funded operation of the locks on summer weekends, holidays and other special occasions, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps had previously closed Locks 6 through 9 to recreational boaters because of lower federal funding, due to the decline in commercial river traffic.
The organization fully funds the hours and operations at Locks 6 through 9 and pays for partial hours and operations at Lock 5, Hemmes says.
Operations costs are $93.50 an hour per lock, and ARDC’s expenses will total $172,000 in 2018, Hemmes says.
For boaters wishing to dock overnight at the amphitheater during Rockin’ the Lockin’, the fee is $50 for the weekend, or $30 for July 7 only.
Boaters must be willing to raft together with other vessels. Advance reservations are required on the ARDC website.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.