One of the many traditions interrupted by you-know-what was the 2020 edition of the venerable Head of the Charles Regatta, the world’s largest rowing competition of its kind that takes place right here in the Hub every fall. The 2021 contest, however, is very much back in its usual, non-virtual format, and its much-anticipated return takes place October 22–24 on the banks of the Charles River. The races—which follow a winding, 4,702-meter course along the Charles—get started at 8 a.m. on Friday, and continue until Sunday night’s final contest, which starts at 3:59 p.m. A social event as well as a premier athletic spectacle, the Head of the Charles is also punctuated by gathering spots like the laid-back Eliot Bridge Enclosure, refueling outpost the Weld Exhibition, the lively Reunion Village, the merch-filled Rowing & Fitness Expo and the new Finish Area Launch Site (FALS) Bar, which boasts a beer garden. Many of these areas require tickets and offer beverages, food and plenty of Head of the Charles-related goodies. If you can pull yourself away from all of that, there are lots of other prime spots to watch the rowers, including the seven bridges that criss-cross the race course as well as the start line at the Boston University DeWolfe Boathouse and the finish line area at Herter Park. Although this is an all-outdoor event, spectators are asked to follow all posted COVID-19 safety protocols, and are encouraged to either be vaccinated or wear a mask when in crowded areas.