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Identity & Community

Pittsburgh Set to Ring in the New Year with First Night Celebration

Wednesday night marks the end of one year and the start of a New Year and downtown Pittsburgh will be celebrating with the annual First Night.

The event will start at 6 p.m. with a performance from the funk sax group Beauty Slap, fireworks and much more.

“The great thing about Highmark First Night Pittsburgh is the fact that there is so much diversity," said Ken McCrory, chair of the First Night Board. "I mean dance, music, comedy, magicians, fireworks. You name it, and we have it at First Night Pittsburgh.”

Some of the Cultural District’s galleries will be open late for a make shift gallery crawl. There will also be fire breathers, jugglers and ice carvers at 8th and Penn for the Fire and Ice Plaza.  Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet will be performing together throughout the event at the Byham Theater.

For the little ones, there will be a family tent at 7th and Penn where kids can decorate the tree with reflection’s from the past year, and wishes for the New Year. On Liberty Avenue the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater will be making glowing alphabet bracelets and telling stories.

The FedEx Ground Parade will begin at 8 p.m., with WQED's Rick Sebak as Grand Marshall.

“What [First Night] does is sort of give you that last chance to see everything light up and decorated for the holidays, because you know right after New Year’s things are going to turn to Valentine’s Day , or something like that. It’s that chance to be downtown, our one big shared neighborhood,” said Sebak.

The event will end with a performance from country duo The Swan Brothers who appeared on the TV show "The Voice," a fireworks display, and the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball over the cultural district at Stanwix and Penn.

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

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