Smell the lilies, gather at the Regatta with Zambelli’s fireworks for July 4, go car crazy at the Vintage Grand Prix, explore lawn bowling and try a Grandview experience.

Stop and smell the lilies at the North American Lily Society’s 63rd annual Lily Show and Conference. The event includes discussions on hybrids, design and bulbs as well as garden tours. Speaker Holger Kühne, president of the European Lily Society since 2003, will travel from Germany to discuss “Hybridizing Lilies in East Germany,” his daylilies, breeding for red in Trumpets and Asiapets and intensifying scent. Who says you can’t improve on nature?

The show is open to the public as viewers or participants. If you want to enter a lily or a floral arrangement in the competition, you must take cut stems (at least one bloom) or submit your arrangement to the registration desk at the Sheraton hotel from Wed., July 7, through Fri., July 9.

Visitors to the Lily Show select the winners in a photo competition. (Sheraton Four Points Convention Center, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars. Fri., July 9, 2-9 p.m., Sat., July 10, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun., July 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $85; show and photo display, free. Info: 724/475-3190,

There’s a reason why the Three Rivers Regatta attracts 1.5 million visitors: Everything is free, and it’s one spectacular event after another. Attractions at the “largest inland regatta in the United States” take place on the North Shore from PNC Park on the Allegheny along the River Walk and down the Ohio to Rivers Casino. They also spread across the Allegheny to Point State Park.

EQT Corp.—the Appalachian Basin’s largest natural-gas producer—is the sponsor and promises approximately 20 musical acts highlighted by country-western star Craig Morgan on Sat., July 3, at 8 p.m. in Point State Park. Other attractions? The cast of Beatlemania, as in “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Yesterday,” will perform at the Rivers Casino amphitheater, Sat.-Sun., July 3-4, at 6 p.m. The U.S. Army National Band and Chorus (100 strong) appear on Sun., July 4, at 8 p.m., in Point State Park.

And there’s more: skydiving, the Powerboat Superleague North American Championships, kid zones with climbing walls, the “Anything That Floats” races, the Bass Fishing Tournament, dragon-boat racing and jet-ski show. And last but not least: Zambelli Fireworks International returns with “Fireworks Fantasia” at Point State Park on Sun., July 4, beginning at 9:35 p.m. (Regatta hours: July 2, 4-9:30 p.m.; Sat., July 3, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun., July 4, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Info: 412/325-0525,

The 50-year-old Gateway Clipper Fleet will send four of its boats—Majestic, Empress, Princess and Duchess—out on the three rivers, Sun., July 4, on a Firecracker Dinner Dance Cruise. All will make the same trip at the same price. Dance to the house band, take in the city in the light and dark and enjoy a buffet dinner. The highlight: watching the July 4 fireworks from the water. (350 Station Square Drive, South Side. Boarding at 5:30 p.m.; sailing 6:30-9:30 p.m. $48.95 plus tax/service charge. Reservations required. Info: 412/355-7980,

OK, here’s a club in which you can have a ball. The Frick Park Lawn Bowling Club will host the United States Lawn Bowling Association’s North East Division Open this month: July 24-29, Sat.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. No charge. Just show up, grab a bench and watch some of “the top-notch bowlers in action,” says club president Ed Gannon.

If you want to try lawn bowling yourself, the club encourages you to stop by any Tuesday at 10 a.m. or Wednesday at 7 p.m. now through September to see league games. Wear flat shoes or sneakers. The club will give you a free lesson. The club also sets aside the third Thursday of each month (this month at 7 p.m., July 22) for 20- to 30-somethings who want to try the sport.

There also is open bowling Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. The greens can accommodate 14 games at once. The club also goes on the road to play in Cleveland, Ohio, Williamsburg, Va., and Wilmington, Del.

Barbara Lockyer, a new member who is also a runner, says bowling is a lot of exercise. “You walk back and forth on the green for two hours,” she says. Just show up to watch or take a free lesson. (Frick Park Lawn Bowling Greens, 7300 block of Reynolds Street, Point Breeze. Info: 412/782-0848,

’Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour, the brainchild of founder Sylvia McCoy, counts among its tours a Mount Washington Grandview Experience. Limited to six to 15 people, the tour departs Mondays at 1 p.m. from the Duquesne Incline’s Lower Station along West Carson Street on the South Side. Along the way, the tour stops at the Duquesne Incline Observation Deck and Museum on the upper level along Grandview Avenue.

Then, tour-goers trot off to James A. West’s sculpture “Point of View,” showing George Washington and Seneca leader Guyasuta in a pretty intense discussion. You’ll learn why the hill was named for Washington and how and why it was once called Coal Hill.

Then the really tasty part starts with stops at The Grandview Saloon, LeMont and The Tin Angel restaurants. Fare varies sometimes from spinach-artichoke dip, roasted-red-pepper hummus and mini-Beef Wellington to baklava, cheesecake and coffee.

Wear walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Private tours for larger groups on other days can be arranged. (Meet at Duquesne Incline station, 1197 W. Carson St., South Side. $45. Reservations required: 412/901-7150,

The 27th annual Grand Prix kicks off with a Black Tie Cocktails & Tailpipes Gala on Fri., July 16, at 7 p.m., at Pittsburgh Golf Club, 5280 Northumberland St., Schenley Park.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18, catch the Grand Prix Historic Races at BeaveRun Motorsports Complex, 201 Penndale Exd., Wampum, Beaver County. On Mon., July 19, from 5-9 p.m., see the invitational car show on Walnut Street in Shadyside. Head to The Waterfront in Homestead on Tues., July 20, 5-9 p.m., and watch 750 cars cruise along Waterfront Drive in the parking lot near First Commonwealth Bank.

Downtown’s where it’s at on Wed., July 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., when 75 race and show cars will parade around and gather for shows at U.S. Steel Plaza and Market Square. Park for the happy hour, The Grand Prix Tune-Up, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bossa Nova, 123 Seventh St., downtown.

The Grand Prix raises money for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. (Info: 412/299-2273,

Categories: Things To Do