Why You Should Check Out Head of the Charles

By Y. Kit Wu

This weekend, Cambridge and Boston will once again host the Head of the Charles, a two-day-long celebration of rowing and white people in Patagonias. Thousands of individuals will descend on the banks of the Charles to either spectate or compete in the largest crew competition in the world. If you’re like us and love fried dough, walking around in the dust, and tall people with toned quads, make sure you don’t miss it.

Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “What should I do at an event for a sport that I didn’t even know existed before coming to Harvard?” Don’t worry, Flyby’s got you covered.

Food and goodies

Around the halfway mark of the event, businesses such as Boston Burger Company and Frito-Lay will set up stands to sell (as well as give out) food between JFK St and Weeks Bridge. Overpriced mac and cheese in bread bowls anyone? Other sponsors of the regatta will also be giving out free stuff (hopefully there’s a free fidget spinner or two in the mix). If cookies and cakes are more your thing, The Radcliffe Crew team will be having a bake sale at Weld Boathouse.

Retail therapy

For the bougiest of you, Brooks Brothers will have tents near both the Weld Boathouse and the finish line (past Eliot Bridge on the Boston side), with polo shirts, sweatshirts, bags, and other goodies for sale. Unless you volunteer at the event, you’ll have to shell out close to $400 to get one of the official 2017 Head of the Charles jackets. But don’t worry, there will also be more affordable merchandise sold throughout the race course.

Support your boys and girls in the boats

Those tall specimens in spandex who take all the food in the d-hall are people too, and they would probably appreciate your cheering when they compete this weekend. The men’s and women’s teams combined have entered nearly 20 boats this year, so you can catch them at various times of the day as you eat a burger and flex your new Brooks Brothers gear (and your empty bank account) on the sideline.

All of this crew extravaganza can only be improved by some casual day drinking (although if anyone asks why you’re wandering around the river drunk at 1:48pm, it wasn’t us). Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to check back in for our roundup of the event.

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