South Side is preparing for the thousands of spectators expected for the fifth stage of the American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania presented by Highmark Healthy High 5, a 420 mile bicycle stage race across Pennsylvania.
The fifth stage will end at the American Eagle Outfitters headquarters in the SouthSide Works after an 83 mile journey from Ligonier and three circuits around South Side. The race is expected to come through South Side sometime between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. There will be at least 20 six member teams of bicycle racers and their support crews participating in the race.
Race organizers are expecting to attract as many as 40,000 spectators or more to the fifth stage of the race in South Side.
To prepare for the spectators, South Side community groups have planned a full slate of activities for race day, Saturday, June 28.
Visitors and residents should be aware that parking will be prohibited on Carson, between 33rd Street at the SouthSide Works and 17th Street for the day. In addition, no parking will be permitted from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. along Sidney St. from 18th St. to 21st St.; Sidney St. from 26th St. to Sarah St. Extension (at SSW); Sarah St. Extension from Sidney St. to Carson St.; 18th St. from Carson St. to Sidney St.; 21st St. from Carson St. to Sidney St.; 26th St. from Carson St. to Sidney St.; Hot Metal St. from Second Ave. to Carson St.
For the Tour of Pennsylvania, "rolling closures" will keep most streets open to traffic until they need to be closed for the race. The circuit will bring the racers over the Hot Metal Bridge to left on Sidney St. and follow around to Sarah St. Extension (by FBI building) and to Carson St.; west on Carson St. to 18th St.; right on 18th St. to Sidney St.; east on Sidney St. to 21st St.; right on 21st St. to Carson St.; east on Carson St. to 26th St.; right on Sidney St. to Hot Metal St.; right on Hot Metal St. to Carson St. They will complete the circuit three times to finish this leg of the race.
The Birmingham Bridge will also be closed to traffic during the race.
Family friendly community activities have been planned throughout the day in the historic district and the SouthSide Works. On 20th St., community organizations will set up booths next to a stage with acoustic music and story telling. UPMC South Side will also provide an area where visitors can stop by for water and first aid.
I Made It, a yearly arts and crafts festival that moves from neighborhood to neighborhood, will set up on 19th St. for the day. An Art Market complete with demonstrations will be taking place at the parking lot on the corner of 18th and Carson during the festivities. Some of the demonstrations will include glass blowing and artists "throwing" pottery.
Merchants along East Carson will also be displaying their wares on the street for the South Side Chamber of Commerce's South Side Super Summer Sidewalk Sale. A Food Court will also be setting up in the public parking lot in the 1900 block of Carson.
As part of the festivities, the South Side Community Council will be presenting a slide show of historic photos at the SouthSide Works. During the day, the Pittsburgh Consortium of Independent Schools will be proving music and there will be entertainment throughout East Carson.
More information about the race can be found at the Tour of PA website, www.tourofpa.com