PITTSBURGH — We bet you'll recognize some of these famous faces that will be part of the WPXI Holiday Parade presented by Neighborhood Ford Store. Hope to see you there on Nov. 30 at 9 a.m.
Although now living in Los Angeles, Layla Jeyd is a Pittsburgh girl at heart and started out as a dancer at Studio 19. When she was just 10 years old, she won a junior national dance title. Moving on to even bigger things, in February she announced that she would be joining the Kidz Bop kids crew and has performed in music videos and tour with the group ever since.
Pittsburgh native Blake Stadnik appears on NBC's "This Is Us" playing the role of Jack Damon. When casting for the role of Damon, a character who is blind, the show sought out an actor who shared the same condition. Stadnik is diagnosed with Stargardt disease resulting in blurry vision and blind spots while still being able to make out shapes. The Penn State musical theater grad made his television debut after joining the cast for season 4. Theatergoers may recognize Blake from a number of different productions, including Newsies, 42nd Street, and Sweeney Todd. His single "Memorized" appeared in the "This Is Us" season premiere.
See who's performing in this year's parade:
Rick Sebak is a producer at WQED and has decades worth of experience producing documentaries. His work heavily focuses on his beloved hometown of Pittsburgh and everything surrounding "yinzer" culture, but other features tackle topics from unusual breakfast spots in America, the weirdest buildings across the country, and where to find the best pie. He has been nominated for two Prime Time Emmy awards as well as 11 regional Emmy awards.
The jolliest man around, Santa Claus always finds time to pay Pittsburgh a visit and appear in the WPXI Holiday Parade Presented by Neighborhood Ford Store to officially ring in the holiday season. In fact, he hasn't missed it in all of our 39 years! Pittsburgh is one of his favorite places to visit because there are so many good boys and girls in our fair city!
Best known for his "speedy deliveries" on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, David Newell, or Mr. McFeely, became a beloved visitor of Fred Rogers and viewers everywhere for over 30 years. Fond childhood memories of the show shared across a national audience live on though Newell and his cheerful presence whether it was delivering the mail or handling props backstage.
East Liberty rapper FRZY returns to the Parade lineup again this year. He's known for his many talents including for his collaboration with WQED creating a hip-hop tribute and rendition of the Mister Rogers theme song "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" which earned him an Emmy. Earlier this year, Allegheny County declared Jan. 11 to be "FRZY Day" and he has released several new singles since then.
Kiara Lin is a 17-year-old student at Seneca Valley Senior High who plans to attend Penn State University followed by dental school. Her goal is to become a cosmetic dentist with her own practice. Kiara is the captain of Seneca Valley Varsity Cheer Team, a volunteer at Highmark Caring Place and has been a member of the Chinese cultural dance team for 10 years. Her hobbies include tae kwon do and self-defense classes, cooking ethnic food, jet skiing, baking, spinning and taking Pilates classes.
Citing her ethnicity, which is a blend of Taiwanese, Italian, Hungarian and Slovakian, as one of the most unusual things about her, she also mentions that she has tried out for every sport offered at my high school and plays about a dozen musical instruments. "I'll give anything a shot," said Kiara.
Victoria Piekut is a 23-year-old entrepreneur from Irwin. She is the co-founder and president of Wight Elephant Boutique with two storefronts in southwestern Pennsylvania and a large online presence. She was named one of Pittsburgh's 50 Finest in 2019, has received a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, having given a speech at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in front of dozens of state representatives and senators, and she is a recipient of the National Community Service and Arts Scholarship. Victoria's strongest talent is opera singing. She has received scholarships and both national and international talent awards for opera performance. She has dealt with the health conditions Ehler's Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) learning to overcome both conditions through proper diet and exercise, and now lives a healthy and thriving life. Victoria's hobbies include playing the piano, baking macaroons, traveling internationally, vlogging, skiing with her family, runway and print modeling, talking to her dog Gino and, being Italian!
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