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May 04, 2018

Get ready for the 2018 Dad Vail Regatta

Competition draws tens of thousands of spectators each year

Rowing Regattas
Carroll - Dad Vail Regatta Schuylkill River Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The 2017 Dad Vail Regatta will take place on the Schuylkill River from Friday, May 12, through Saturday, May 13. This team just crossed the finish line on Friday, May 12.

The 2018 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta will take place Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, on the Schuylkill River. 

It is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with participants from more than 100 colleges and universities.

RELATED: Road closures take effect Thursday for Dad Vail Regatta

Each year, thousands of athletes compete in the crew races, while more than 10,000 spectators attend. Cheering on the competitors has become a Philadelphia tradition.

The Grand Stand, near Columbia Avenue Bridge, is one of the best places to watch the races. It offers a clear view of the finish line.

Spectators can also bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic to set up anywhere along the Schuylkill River Banks. No tickets are required to attend the event. It's free, family-friendly and pet-friendly.

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Those driving to the regatta should note that parking on Kelly Drive is limited and most vehicles will be directed to park in Fairmount Park.

From those lots, free shuttle bus service is available to the race course on Kelly Drive. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shuttles will also be available from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the race area.

Last year, Drexel University came out on top at Dad Vail, taking home the overall points trophy. Who will win this year?

2018 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Friday, May 11, through Saturday, May 12
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Free to watch
2200 Kelly Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19129