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Identity & Community

'First Night' In Pittsburgh Set To Be A Blast

Jess Lasky

This year’s First Night will be jam packed with events for the New Year right in the heart of Pittsburgh. Tens of thousands of celebrants are expected to crowd Downtown to enjoy events including fire dancers, musical performances, magicians, a parade and a lot more.

The event kicks off at 6 pm December 31st with a performance from funk group, Beauty Slap, and fireworks.

“What better way to end the year, and start the New Year, than with an event like this? Though music, theater, dance, and visual arts, the Trust welcomes and entertains visitors of all ages for a celebration of the arts in an alcohol free environment,” said Janis Burley Wilson, the VP of education and community engagement for the Trust.

The Fire and Ice Plaza at Penn and 8th Street will feature ice carving, fire breathing, juggling, and a light show. There will also be a gallery crawl that night with participating galleries open late.

At 8 pm the annual FedEx Ground Parade will kick off with Grand Marshal Rick Sebak, WQED-TV Producer.

“I’m one of those people who has always sort of dreaded New Year’s Eve. It’s sort of forced merriment. You know, you gotta go to a party. Why do I have to do this?” said Seback ,“and then First Night came along, and all of the sudden there’s this glorious solution to what to do on New Year’s Eve. You come downtown. It’s a whole night of true wonderful happenings.”

The event will end in a countdown to midnight with a performance from The Swan Brother’s, a country duo from the TV show The Voice. Also the Future of Pittsburgh Ball will be raised above the Cultural District as the New Year begins.

Because Pittsburgh weather is unpredictable, 90% of the events for the night will be indoors. 

A list of all events and ticket information is available at the First Night’s website