This year’s festivities included friendly mascots, live animals, and tours of the Allegheny Observatory.

Story and photos by Zach Armstrong

The Northside Leadership Conference presented a fun day for local residents full of activities for kids and adults alike at the annual “Heritage Day” at Riverview Park on June 8. Attendees were treated to live animals, a bounce house, visits from friendly mascots and tours of the Allegheny Observatory.

Children were given the chance to learn about wildlife with a petting zoo provided by the National Aviary featuring a donkey, chickens, and pygmy goats. The goats surprised guests with their vocal sounds, which resonated like human moans. Under the National Aviary tent, children could pet a live arctic penguin while animal experts taught them interesting facts about the bird.

While their kids were having fun elsewhere, adults spent their time touring the Allegheny
Observatory and visiting tents of local organizations and businesses like the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Observatory is owned by the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh and offers free tours to the public during the summer.

After the afternoon activities were done and the sun had set on the park, the observatory held a screening of the PG-rated film “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse.” Observatory Hill screens movies every Saturday at sunset through August 31.

Riverview Park has long been a treasure of the Northside with its extensive nature trails for bikers, joggers and even those on horseback. The park also features summertime concerts, movies, and public use of its swimming pool.

The City of Pittsburgh will hold other similar special events on the Northside throughout the summer such as “Pistons in the Park.” The cruise-in will take place on July 27 at the Allegheny Commons Park West and welcomes street rods, trucks and classic cars. For more information click here.