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Arts, Sports & Culture

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas—54th Light Up Night

As the cold wind sweeps down the streets of Downtown the finishing touches are being made to a Pittsburgh tradition, kicking off the holiday season—the 54th annual Light Up Night November 21, 2014.

With large crowds expected , the event will feature family fun with carriage rides, musical and dance performances, ice sculptures, and Santa Clause himself.

It all starts Friday at noon with the lighting of the City-County Tree and the dedication of the life-size creche outside the U. S. Steel Tower.  The Allegheny County Courthouse Tree lighting will come at 5:30;  Santa makes his first appearance at 5:45; and the Macy's  holiday window display will be unveiled at 6:45.

While those Light Up Night traditions will return, this year’s celebration includes four new entertainment stages. “These are huge acts for us, perhaps the biggest we’ve seen in our history,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.  

The Clemente Bridge will be transformed into a music stage featuring up and coming bands including Grand Piano and Donora, as well as national headliner, Cobra Starship.

Local favorites will also perform including Jeff Jimmerson in Market Square, jazz trumpeter Sean Jones at Katz Plaza, and Joe Grushecky will be joined by Eddie Manion of the E Street Band for a preview of their upcoming show.

“At 6 p.m. on the Macy’s stage, Rose & Rosie the YouTube sensations from across the pond, will be here to host the evening—and the headliner will be pop, country star Jamie Lynn Spears,” said Joe Hlabur, Macy’s manager.

The evening will conclude with a Zambelli Fireworks show.  But the holiday activities won't be limited to one night.

Every weekend during the season Market Square will  be transformed into a Holiday Kidsplay hosting free family activities from noon until 5:00 p.m. including improv workshops and arts and crafts.

In order to encourage more visitors, free parking will be offered by several garages on Saturdays during the season.

“The beautiful thing about being a part of a city that engages an entire season, going from Thanksgiving straight into Christmas, is that it allows us the opportunity to celebrate,” said  Mayor Bill Peduto.

Market Square will also be home to 30 vendors through December 23.

“We have vendors coming not just from your European countries but from around the world. We have South East Asia, Latin America, and local vendors,” said Waldrup. “The market will also feature extended hours at Santa’s House, collecting what we hope to be a lot of money for individuals in need.” 

Visitors to Market Square are encouraged to bring canned goods, which will be delivered to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for distribution to food pantries throughout the region.