The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta Preview

May 5, 2012 6:00 AM

aberdeen dad vail1 The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta Preview

Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta
Kelly Drive, along the Schuykill river
(215) 542-1443

Dates: May 11th and 12th
Price: free

Every year on the second Saturday of May, the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta takes on two days of 120 college students and their crews from across the U.S. in an unforgettable series of boat races. The regatta, which is in its 74th year, takes place along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and supports the Philadelphia Water Department and the Fairmount Park Commission’s work to eliminate water pollution. This popular event attracts spectators from all over the country and is a great way to enjoy Philadelphia all weekend long.

aberdeen dad vail michigan The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta Preview

Photo Credit:

Because parking is limited on Kelly drive, take advantage of overflow pass parking at the Mount Pleasant parking area in Fairmount Park. Shuttle buses will run from this area, and it’s not a long walk to Fountain Green Drive and Rower’s Village. Handicap parking will allow visitors to pass through the police blockade at the grand stand area.

Spectator Guide
The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta provided the event spectators and participants with a detailed guide for the May 11 to 12 Regatta event, but here’s the run down. At 2,000 meters, the Olympic-length race, six-lane race starts north of the Kelly Drive/Hunting Park Avenue intersection and ends at the finish line by the grand stand above Columbia Avenue Bridge. Use the Jack Kelly Statue and grand stand as a centrally located landmark. Hang out at Rowers’ Village and the launch area for the best view and awesome vendor food, although the event will include a food court as well. 

aberdeen The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta Preview

Photo Credit:

Special Events

Aberdeen Dad Vail Corporate Challenge
Sun, May 12

The 500-meter race is made up of Philadelphia’s corporate sponsors. The challenge takes place on the last day of the races and draws huge crowds. Teams are a mix of men and women categorized into four skill levels. The winners of each level bring home either a bronze, silver or gold medal.

Open Singles Sculling Collegiate Championship competition
All single scullers compete in heats, semi-finals and finals, and the female and male single sculler receive individual trophies.

Hotel Accomodations

EMCVenues is your source for the best hotel packages in the Philadelphia area for the weekend of the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. Participating hotels run from $150 to $210 per night and are located throughout the city. All hotels are within three miles of the event location and on the shuttle bus route. Every morning, you may walk down Benjamin Franklin Parkway and admire the architecture of the Basilica Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Or stop to enjoy the Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Square and take in the amazing view of the Art museum as you journey down one of Philadelphia’s most famous streets.

Related: AAA Releases Guide To Philadelphia Area’s Best Hotels And Restaurants

Philadelphia attractions near the Regatta

The Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Boat House Row

If you find yourself with some down time during the two-day event, you’re in luck: You’re just steps away from the city’s most cherished sights. It will be hard to avoid the amazing backdrop of the Philadelphia Museum of Art while watching the sporting event. You may not have time to do a tour of the museum, but surely you can do a Rocky run up the infamous stairs. You will also find the country’s first zoo just up the road from the event location. You could take a quick stroll up the hill, then take a hot air balloon ride and watch the Regatta from above the trees of the Philadelphia Zoo. Boathouse Row is just a few feet away from the spectator stands at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. Make a quick stop on your way to the snack pavilion to check out the historic boat houses that light up the Schuylkill River at night.

Related: New Van Gogh Exhibit Opens At Philadelphia Museum Of Art


Rembrandt’s Restaurant & Bar
741 N 23rd St.
Philadelphia, PA  19130
(215) 763-2228

Hours: Mon to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe the fare at Rembrandt’s. This restaurant’s delicious menu includes everything from arrogant onion soup to pierogi pizza. Although reservations are not required, the restaurant recommends them for Friday and Saturday night visits.

London Grill
2301 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA  19130
(215) 978-4545

Hours: Mon to Sat – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m, Sun – 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Expect fresh, local dining right in London … OK, London Grill, but the food is still phenomenal. Made famous and popular by its foie gras and other gourmet options, even the homemade past here is the epitome of perfection. Going so far as to tour the farms it sources its food from, London Grill promises perfection in every dish.

Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

Watch & Listen LIVE