Couples Can Vow to Make Pittsburgh History

By Wereschagin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

Couples Can Vow to Make Pittsburgh History


Wereschagin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


To kick off a years-long celebration of Pittsburgh's history, organizers plan to make some history.

Among the first events celebrating the 250th anniversary of the city's founding in 1758 will be a mass renewal of wedding vows at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Feb. 10. Organizers hope to attract 1,000 couples and a judge for the Guinness Book of Records, said Pam Golden, spokeswoman for Pittsburgh 250, the group organizing the celebration.

It probably won't have as lasting an effect as some of the region's other contributions to the modern world -- such as the steel industry or the French and Indian War -- but those will get commemorative events, too.

Pittsburgh 250, an offshoot of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, plans to use the city's birthday party as a way to attract residents and businesses, reintroduce the region's treasures to people and blow away the last wisps of the "smoky city" image, said participants of a meeting Tuesday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

"We're trying to get people involved. The basic message is: Get up, get out, explore," said Bill Flanagan, executive director of Pittsburgh 250.

Three "signature projects" will anchor the celebration, which begins next year and could run through 2010, Flanagan said.

The first is the publication of a guide to the Forbes Trail, the path Gen. John Forbes' army took across the state and ended in the capture of Fort Duquesne and its rechristening as Fort Pitt on Nov. 25, 1758. The trail guide, which will lead drivers across the route now covered by Route 30 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will be released with a 450-mile bicycle race from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh from June 24-29. …

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