While the big event in JP this weekend is the Lantern Parade around Jamaica Pond, there's another little event drawing big crowds to this weekend.
The Charles River and its surrounding banks and bridges will be overflowing this weekend with hundreds of thousands of athletes, coaches, fans and spectators watching the 2012 Head of the Charles Regatta. It started Saturday and continues Sunday.
The annual regatta, the largest of its kind in the country, is put on each year by the Cambridge Boat Club. The event draws as many as 300,000 to the banks of the Charles River each year, from the starting line near the Boston University Bridge to the finish line near Harvard Square.
Where to Watch
The race course runs three miles upstream from the Boston University Boathouse to Christian Herter Park.
Most spectators find a place to watch between the Anderson and Weeks bridges, along the halfway point of the race.
There are more than 50 races taking place throughout the weekend, with events happening from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. You can see the full schedule here.
Memorial Drive in Cambridge will be closed from the Cambridge Boat Club to Western Avenue from from 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. all weekend.
Traffic on Nonantum Road, which turns into Soldiers Field Road and then Storrow Drive in Brighton, will also be impacted during the race.
Parking is very limited in the area near the event. One of the main lots is at Artesani Park, in Brighton, across the river from Watertown. You can see a map here.
For the full schedule, shuttle bus routes and other information see here.