Hectic Saturday ahead: Luke Bryan, rallies, marches in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has a rally, a demonstration march and Luke Bryan to deal with on Saturday and is advising visitors to build in extra travel time to Downtown and the North Shore.
Tens of thousands of Bryan fans are expected for his “What Makes You Country Tour” starting at 5 p.m. at Heinz Field, according to city officials. North Shore parking lots open at 1 p.m. and Heinz Field gates open at 4 p.m.
Rallies are scheduled for Downtown beginning at 11 a.m.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s, and the city advised concertgoers to drink plenty of water and limit booze intake.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich warned of a zero-tolerance policy for trouble makers and said plenty of law enforcement officers would be on hand, in and out of uniform and on the three rivers to keep order. “Individuals will be cited and/or arrested,” he said.
Motorists arriving before parking lots open will not be permitted to park and wait along streets. Fans must have a ticket to enter the lots and must be inside Heinz Field by 7 p.m.
The city has set a one-hour deadline for leaving the lots after the concert ends.
Boaters are not permitted to stop, anchor or drift boats more than 100 feet from any riverbank between the Ninth Street, Fort Pitt and West End bridges, or block the passage of other vessels.
The Coast Guard will enforce the prohibitions from 4 p.m. Friday through noon on Sunday.
Demonstrations are scheduled for Downtown starting at 11 a.m. with the Families Belong Together rally at Mellon Plaza.
Event organizer Stephanie Murray of Bellevue said 1,100 people have registered for the rally in support of immigrant families. It ends at 1 p.m.
“This is a lot bigger than I expected,” Murray said. “I thought it would be, like, 30 people standing outside Sen. (Pat) Toomey’s office.”
While that’s going on, former WPXI-TV news anchor Darieth Chisolm will lead a March Against Revenge Porn from the City-County Building to Point Park University.
Chisolm said she expects around 100 people to attend the demonstration in support of victims of revenge porn, in which perpetrators post explicit photos of them online without their permission.
She has personal experience. A former boyfriend began harassing her in 2017 through online messaging and internet photos.
She said participants would also collect signatures for a petition in support of a bill sponsored by California Sen. Kamala Harris that would make revenge porn a federal crime.
People can register for the rally and sign the petition online.
“It’s the only bill that actually speaks directly to revenge porn,” Chisolm said.
The march starts at noon outside the City-County Building on Grant Street and will run along Grant to the Boulevard of Allies and end with a 1 p.m. rally at Point Park’s Village Park on Wood Street.
Both have permits
Organizers of the two demonstrations have received city permits, unlike spontaneous protests occurring in recent days over the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by an East Pittsburgh police officer.
City officials said they haven’t enforced the permit requirement in order to avoid confrontations with protesters exercising First Amendment rights.
“There’s going to be a lot of events on Saturday, but there are events every weekend in Pittsburgh, and we are prepared,” said Chris Togneri, spokesman for the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.