5 Things You Need to Know About the 53rd Annual Head of the Charles Regatta

The world’s best crew teams will descend on the banks of the Charles River this weekend for the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta.

The world’s largest two-day rowing competition attracts more than 11,000 athletes and draws crowds of tens of thousands of spectators annually for this premiere event.

To make it easier to navigate the event, we've pulled together a list of what you need to know in advance of the event to help you get the most out of your experience:

When is the Head of the Charles Regatta?

The Head of the Charles Regatta is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21, and 22, 2017.

What Time is the Race?

Racing runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Where are the Best Places to Watch?

You can watch the races between the Anderson Memorial Bridge, which connects Cambridge and Boston, and the John W. Weeks Bridge. Both run along the halfway point of the race.

How Do I Get There and How Bad Will Traffic Be?

Parking is limited, so spectators are encouraged to take public transportation. Parking is available. There is free on-street parking on Birmingham Parkway, but there is no parking after 6 p.m. Parking is also available at the Alewife T Station ($7 per day and $8 overnight), as well as at Harvard Stadium Gate 14 (6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at $30 per day).

Two complimentary shuttles are provided during the race, making a number of stops around the course and surrounding parking areas. The first has stops at the Singles and Doubles launch site, Lars Andersen Bridge on the Boston side, Cambridge Boat Club and the finish area. The second shuttle runs from the parking area on Birmingham Parkway to the finish area launch site. Buses run on a continuous loop roughly every 15 minutes on both race days. Find out more about shuttle transportation on the HOCR website.

Memorial Drive in Cambridge will be closed from the Cambridge Boat Club to Western Avenue from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

What Other Events are Happening During the Race?

The Weld Exhibition, located near Harvard’s Weld Boathouse between The John W. Weeks and Lars Andersen Bridges, is a great place to visit during the race. Race sponsors will be on hand offering local flavors and free samples, along with the opportunity to purchase official Regatta programs and merchandise. You can also checkout up-to-date race results at the exhibition.

Head over to the Attager Row: Rowing & Fitness Expo near the finish line and you’ll find more than 70 vendors featuring rowing equipment, boat manufacturers, food vendors, and more.

Tickets are always available for the 14th Annual Reunion Village, where you’ll find a fun and relaxed atmosphere where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat. The village is located at the halfway point in the race on the Boston side of the Charles River.

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