The 53rd annual Light Up Night will kick off the holiday season in Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 22.
Downtown Pittsburgh is expected to see 800,000 people over Light Up Night weekend, kicking off events expected to generate an estimated $21 million in economic impact.
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership released details and schedules for an expanded holiday initiative for downtown Pittsburgh, designed to increase support for the Golden Triangle businesses community and promote the city’s unique combination of holiday activities and shopping.
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“More than ever, downtown Pittsburgh is the place to be this holiday season. We’re activating new spaces with new events for our 53rd annual Light Up Night, when downtown will be lit up and decorated in its holiday best,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the PDP.
New to Light Up Night for 2013 will be the activation of the newly renovated landmark Mellon Square with a stage overlooking Smithfield Street which will be closed for a dance party. Add to this the closure of Forbes Avenue, which will act as a pedestrian walkway enhanced with a laser graphics show, video projections and other effects made possible by the support of Macy’s.
Light Up Night will increase the number of stages across Downtown to four.
- Market Square -- Every half hour Market Square will be transformed by the musically synchronized BNY Mellon Season of Lights show followed by a mini-concert.
- Clemente Blues Bridge Party – It’s a rockin’ party with some of Pittsburgh’s most iconic performers and prime viewing for the BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale.
- Northwest Savings Bank Stage at Mellon Square -- Smithfield Street is closed for a Dance Through the Decades party with lasers, bubble machines and music that will get you moving!
- EQT Jazzmasters Stage at EQT Plaza -- Velvet virtuosos of Pittsburgh’s world-class jazz scene will come together for an all-night jam.
Light Up Night will also feature eight different tree lighting ceremonies across downtown, beginning at noon with the City-County Building tree lighting and concluding at 7 p.m. with the Highmark Unity Tree Lighting, featuring rooftop fireworks.
There will also be a series of events across downtown on Nov. 22.
- One Oxford Centre -- Live music, Santa and his live reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides and free activities
- PPG Place -- Entertainment on and off the ice at the PPG Ice Rink, the American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light and live music in the Food Court
- Fifth Avenue Place -- Life-sized ice carvings, children’s activities and live music and the always-anticipated lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree
- Macy’s – Unveiling of holiday window displays and a concert by Grammy-winning artist Gloria Gaynor
- BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale – launched from the Warhol Bridge, one of Pittsburgh’s most spectacular displays, will include the Light Up Night signature Niagara Falls of fireworks.
The People’s Gas Holiday Market will return to Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, November 23 and will be open daily, except on Thanksgiving, through Monday, Dec. 23, including Black Friday, Nov. 29. For 2013, the PDP has increased vendor space by more than 250 percent, allowing for an expanded mix of ethnic and local traditions, including the addition of Käthe Wohlfahrt, world-renowned purveyor of German Christmas items, local favorite Wendell August Forge, creators of handcrafted metal craft ware and new, fine Irish and Himalayan items and even a fresh Christmas tree farm stand with designer and do-it-yourself wreaths.
The Peoples Gas Holiday Market will also feature a newly designed stage that will be programed every day and every evening with live, local and ethnic entertainment. A new PDP information booth will also be built and will provide visitors with a wide variety of information about all of the holiday happenings in downtown Pittsburgh.
Santa will take up residence in Market Square for 30 days in his beautiful storybook home where, for a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, children of all ages will have the opportunity to have a complimentary photo taken with Santa, which this year will also be provided via email to facilitate sharing and posting on social media platforms. Also new this year, advance tickets for photos with Santa will be available to people who make their donations to the Food Bank at community branches of Northwest Savings Bank through the region.
The People’s Gas Holiday Market will serve as the anchor in/for a new marketing campaign that promotes the unique combination of holiday attractions and distinctive retail available only in downtown Pittsburgh. Retail partners in the campaign include Macy’s, Fifth Avenue Place and Larrimors. The newly designed multi-media campaign will include special Black Friday messaging to help encourage people to consider downtown for a truly festive shopping alternative on the biggest shopping day of the year.
To support the marketing campaign, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority is offering free parking in their garages on Black Friday in addition to Saturdays during the holiday season. On Black Friday, there will also be a bonus day of free horse drawn carriage rides at One Oxford Centre and PPG Place, courtesy of Highwoods Properties, as well the free Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley that circulates among the all the Downtown Holiday hot spots. Every Saturday, as well as Black Friday, there will be a diverse selection of family-friendly attractions at locations across Downtown Pittsburgh including Market Square, PPG Place, Fifth Avenue Place, Macy’s, One Oxford Centre and the Steel Plaza.
Complete schedule of events:
Official tree lighting and ceremonies:
12 p.m. City-County Building tree lighting
12 p.m. U.S. Steel Tower Dedication of the Crèche
5:30 p.m. Allegheny Courthouse tree lighting
5:45 p.m. One Oxford Centre tree lighting
5:45 p.m. Santa Lights BNY Mellon Season of Lights
6 p.m. PPG Plaza tree lighting
6:45 p.m. Macy’s window unveiling
7 p.m. Highmark unity tree lighting with rooftop fireworks
Count down with Santa as he flips the giant switch to the dazzling BNY Mellon Season of Lights with more than 150,000 lights and a 30’ high electronic sphere tree! Every half hour, Market Square is transformed with a glittering wonderland show synchronized with a high-energy music medley followed by a mini-concert with Jeff Jimerson and Airborne.
5 p.m. Jeff Jimerson and Airborne Holiday Songfest
5:45 p.m. Countdown to 2013 Season of Lights with Santa
6:00 - 9:30 p.m. Season of Lights Show & Jeff Jimerson mini-concert (every half hour)
Northwest Savings Bank Stage at Mellon Square
Dancin’ dancin’ in the streets! Smithfield Street is closed for a dance party with lasers, bubble machines and music that will get you moving! Upstairs, the newly renovated Mellon Square is transformed into an inviting bistro with a tasty selection of hot food.
7 p.m. The Elliotts (60s)
8 p.m. Sputzy (70s)
9 p.m. Totally (80s)
EQT Jazzmasters Stage at EQT Plaza
The velvet virtuosos of Pittsburgh’s world-class jazz scene come together for an all-night jam led by Roger Humphries and RH Factor joined by local legends Etta Cox, Al Dowe, Michele Bensen, Spanky Wilson and Kenny Blake and hosted by Tony Mowod. Hot foods and tasty treats will be available.
5-9:15 p.m. Roger Humphries and RH Factor
5 p.m. Etta Cox and Al Dowe
6:30 p.m. Michele Bensen and Kenny Blake
8 p.m. Spanky Wilson
Clemente Bridge Party
Get set for a rockin’ blues party over the Allegheny River with some of Pittsburgh’s most iconic musical performers and an array of food and tasty treats.
5 p.m. Women of the Blues
6:30 p.m. The Billy Price Band
8 p.m. Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
9:38 p.m. BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale - Launched from the Warhol Bridge, one of Pittsburgh’s most spectacular displays by the first family of pyrotechnics, Zambelli Internationale, including the Light Up Night® signature Niagara Falls of fireworks, all synchronized to a live holiday broadcast on 3WS 94.5 FM.
Partner activities and events:
Fifth Avenue Place
Join one of Pittsburgh’s best known neighbors, Mr. McFeely, thousands of Pittsburghers, majestic bagpipers and a splash of fireworks to kick off the official lighting of the historic Unity Tree – presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The Shops, Food Court and Caffè Amante will be open until 9:00 p.m. with many eateries open later.
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Fifth Avenue Freeze & Festivities: Life-sized ice carvings of Santa, ice penguins, snowmen, and live ice carving shows. Create your own luminary with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, play Arctic games and get commemorative airbrush tattoos.
Live Musical Performances
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Roger Barbour Jazz Quartet
7 – 9 p.m. Max Leak Trio
7 p.m. Highmark Unity Tree Lighting with Rooftop Fireworks, Corner of Penn Avenue & Stanwix Street
4 p.m. Light Up Night Pre-Party, Juniors Department, 5th Floor
Join Macy’s as they get ready for the big holiday event! Enjoy sips and sweets, a live DJ and more. Come see the featured Happy Sweater collection and get glam at our beauty bar! Bring your friends and capture your new look at the Photo Booth. With any $50 Juniors or Impulse purchase, get a Macy’s Cosmo Box filled with samples from your favorite cosmetic vendors. While supplies last.
6 – 7 p.m. Holiday Window Unveiling and Gloria Gaynor in Concert, Smithfield Street Stage
Macy’s annual holiday window unveiling and festivities headlined by Grammy award-winning artist, Gloria Gaynor, plus performances by Pittsburgh CAPA students and singer Alyssa Bernal! The all-star line-up includes Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, children of Make-A-Wish Foundation and the man of the hour, Santa Claus! After the reveal, follow the magic inside to meet and greet with your favorite performers, athletes and family fun activities!
One Oxford Centre
5:30 – 9:00 p.m. The Rick Gallagher Trio, Enjoy live holiday music.
5:45 p.m. Annual Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival - Join One Oxford Centre for the official lighting of One Oxford Centre’s 30-foot Christmas tree and welcome Santa Claus! Santa will be on hand to hear children’s holiday wishes.
6 – 9:00 p.m. Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides - Take a ride around the block in a beautiful horse drawn carriage. Pick up will be on Fourth Avenue. (Last ride at 8:45 p.m.)
6 – 9 p.m. Santa’s Reindeer and Free Activities - Santa’s faithful reindeer are ready to greet you in the outdoor plaza. Free indoor activities for children, such as face painting, balloon art, sand art and caricatures. Experience Pittsburgh Memories, an exhibit of historic photos celebrating Pittsburgh during the winter season (Level One).
One Oxford Centre Pop Up Stores - Looking for a special gift? Pop-up merchants join full time stores to offer an even wider selection of creative and uncommon items during the holiday season.
PPG Place & Ice Rink
Downtown Pittsburgh’s only outdoor ice skating rink is open until midnight on Light Up Night® and Magic Ice USA is donating $1 of each skate admission to the American Cancer Society.
4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Robert Morris University Island Sports Figure Skating - Kick off the holiday season with an on-ice interpretation of Polar Express.
5 – 5:45 p.m. CLO Mini-Stars - This talented group kicks off the evening’s festivities with a dazzling performance.
5:30 - 6 p.m. American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light/Plaza Tree Lighting - The Plaza will glow as more than 300 people carry hand-held Tribute of Light memorials, dedicated to someone touched by cancer. The ceremony culminates with the lighting of the breathtaking 65-foot Plaza Christmas tree by 5 year old cancer survivor Addy Morrison of Greene County. All proceeds benefit The American Cancer Society.
5 - 8:30 p.m. Brigid’s Cross - Dine in the PPG food court and enjoy an eclectic collection of music from this dynamic duo with lots of humor and audience participation – think "The Honeymooners" meet the Captain and Tennille.
Road Closures for Light Up Night® on Friday, November 22, 2013:
- Andy Warhol Bridge (7th Street Bridge) 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Forbes Avenue at Wood Street and all of Market Square 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Graeme, McMaster, Market Streets 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Roberto Clemente Bridge (6th Street Bridge)10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
- Delray Street between Forbes Avenue and Liberty Avenue 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Fourth Avenue from Wood Street to Stanwix Street.4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Forbes Avenue from Market Square to Smithfield Street* buses will continue to run scheduled routes until 6pm, unless otherwise noted at Bus Stops 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Smithfield Street from Fifth Avenue to Sixth Avenue 4:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Liberty Avenue between Fifth Avenue and Stanwix Street 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Ft. Duquesne Blvd inbound between Stanwix Street & Roberto Clemente Bridge (6th Street Bridge) 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Ft. Duquesne Blvd outbound between Stanwix Street & Rachel Carson Bridge (9th Street Bridge) 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Rachel Carson Bridge (9th Street Bridge)9:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Commonwealth Place between Liberty Avenue and Ft. Duquesne Blvd.4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Smithfield Street. between Fifth Avenue and Forbes Avenue4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Smithfield Street. between Fifth Avenue and Forbes Avenue 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Pedestrian Restrictions for Light Up Night® on Friday, November 22, 2013
- Sidewalk on East side of Roberto Clemente Bridge (6th Street Bridge) 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Andy Warhol Bridge including all sidewalks (6th Street Bridge) 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Riverwalk along North Shore from PNC Park to Alcoa 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- 10th Street Bypass Walkway from 6th-9th Streets 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Allegheny River Restrictions for Light Up Night® on Friday, November 22, 2013:
- No docking between Clemente Bridge (Sixth Street Bridge) and Rachel Carson Bridge (Ninth Street Bridge) 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Closures for The People’s Gas Holiday Market Grand Opening & Trib Total Media Horse Drawn Carriage Parade on Saturday, November 23, 2013:
- Graeme, McMaster, Market Streets and Market Square 9:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m.
- Forbes Avenue from Market Square to Stanwix Street 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- 11th Street, Liberty Avenue, Stanwix Street and Commonwealth Place 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.