Every city has their own traditions and events that are distinctly their own. Boston is lucky enough to have several of these traditions and one that I look forward to each year is the Head of the Charles Regatta. This autumn event occurs while foliage is at or near peak each year and makes for a beautiful backdrop for the 9,000+ athletes who come to compete.
Head of Charles Regatta October 19-20
First hosted in 1965, the event has grown into the world’s largest rowing competition and now spans two days, drawing 300,000+ spectators. Join in the fun and mark the event on your calendar. Plan to come down to the Charles River to watch and cheer on these athletes and take in all the fun.
More details (including an event map) can be found here.
The Charles River divides Boston from Cambridge and each autumn the Head of the Charles (the largest regatta in the world) occurs. The two-day sporting event includes more than 8,000 rowers competing in over 50 races and draws more than 300,000 spectators (many of them college students proudly -and somewhat drunkenly- cheering on their school).
The seven bridges that criss-cross the Charles River along the race course provide excellent vantage points, but I’m more partial to viewing from the Cambridge side nearer Harvard University and Harvard Square.
If you are new to Boston or rediscovering the city after many years of calling this place home I would strongly recommend coming out and watching the Regatta. Harvard Square pubs and streets are overflowing with people and the city is abuzz with rowers who have come from all over to compete in this prestigious and largest regatta in the world.
This event is uniquely Boston’s (or perhaps to be fair I should include Cambridge too). Like the Boston marathon, its an athletic event that falls far outside the purview of mainstream sports, but it is a tradition here that many in the city come out to support and enjoy.