Giant Duck To Make N. American Premiere

The big duck is coming! The big duck is coming!

The Rubber Duck, a large public art project, is scheduled to arrive in downtown Pittsburgh Friday, Sept. 27. This internationally famous water fowl is no ordinary bathtub duck – it’s actually a four-story inflatable bird. Yes, that’s right: it’s four stories tall!

This gigantic rubber ducky is the creation of artist Florentijn Hofman of The Netherlands.

Making its North American premiere, the Rubber Duck is visiting the Steel City as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts. Officials said the large inflatable creature will make its way up the Allegheny River and “perch itself outside of PNC Park.” The public may view this ducky installation, free of charge, on the Allegheny waterfront for four weeks.

Previously, the duck has been on display in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam; Lommel, Belgium; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Osaka, Japan; Sydney Harbour in Australia and Hong Kong. As noted in the Huffington Post, the large inflatable bird “has caused a bit of a pop culture frenzy” around the world.

Incidentally, the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts will take place Friday, Sept. 27, through Saturday, Oct. 26, with international companies and artists presenting U.S. premieres of various works. “Each of the featured performing and visual arts reflect a sense of place and culture far from Pittsburgh,” stated a spokesman for VisitPittsburgh, the official tourism promotion agency for Allegheny County, Pa.

The new festival in the Cultural District coincides with the opening of the 56th annual Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh’s Oakland section. The international art exhibition opens Saturday, Oct. 5, and continues through Sunday, March 16.

Closer to home, don’t forget the plethora of Labor Day weekend activities continuing at Oglebay Park. The ever-popular Fort Henry Days and the Oglebay Woodcarvers Show conclude today. Festivities culminate tonight with the Music Under the Stars concert, featuring Suzuki strings players and the Wheeling Symphony, and a fireworks show.

A young woman with Ohio Valley ties was pictured, wearing a bikini and showing off her figure after a 105-pound weight loss, on the cover of People magazine’s Aug. 19 issue.

In the accompanying article, Maria Jarosh, 22, of Pittsburgh revealed that she went from weighing 240 pounds to 135 pounds over a two-year period. The social work student’s mother, Lisa Wood Jarosh, is from Shadyside. Maria Jarosh’s grandmother, Jeri Wood, lives in St. Clairsville.

The article quoted Maria Jarosh saying, “My mom joined Weight Watchers when I was 15, and I decided to give it a try. I lost the weight by 2008 and have kept it off ever since.”

Officials of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley are preparing for the agency’s annual Day of Caring, set for Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Wheeling. If that date doesn’t fit your schedule, you might want to consider participating, on an individual basis, in the upcoming Day to Serve, a regional community service event taking place between Sunday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 29.

A spokesman for Volunteer West Virginia said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is encouraging all West Virginians to pick a day during the two-week period to plan or participate in a community service project. So, roll up your sleeves and get busy!

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer. net.