Light Up Night To Kick Off Holiday Season For 55th Year

Nov 19, 2015

Downtown Pittsburgh is decorated and ready for the 55th annual Light Up Night celebration to kick of the holidays.
Credit Bryan Orr / For 90.5 WESA

Friday marks the 55th year for Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

The event acts as a kick-off party for the holiday season and usually attracts thousands Downtown.

This year’s festivities will include many of the same events that made it popular in years past, including live entertainment, the opening of the Holiday Market in Market Square and a fireworks finale.

And thanks to the nice weather, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership says it expects nearly a half-million people to show up. 

"Because the weather forecast looks so incredibly good, it’s not going to be too cold, we have no rain, we have no snow, we think that we could have as many as 500 thousand people down here tonight for Light Up Night," said Vice President of Marketing and Communications Leigh White. 

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said organizers are bringing a broad range of music this year.

"We have the new music stage on the Clemente Bridge, which will feature local artists Nevada Color and Beauty Slap, who are favorites of ours -- we work with them throughout the year," he said. "But we also have Daya from Mt. Lebanon who has hit the national charts, as well as national recording artist JoJo.”

There will also be a country music stage on Smithfield Street.

And even though the iconic Macy’s department store Downtown has closed, nine holiday windows will still be on display, two of which will be original Macy’s windows and the other seven will be done by Downtown Pittsburgh cultural institutions.

“So these windows will be kind of celebrating these cultural institutions and the performances that they’ll be doing this holiday season and throughout the winter,” Waldrop said. 

U.S. women's soccer star and native Pittsburgher Meghan Klingenberg will join Mayor Bill Peduto in unveiling the windows.

“It could be the last year that these windows will be in this location,” he said. “But we’ve had a whole host of property owners Downtown express interest to us in hosting those windows for years to come.” 

Expect travel delays

The annual holiday extravaganza temporarily closes several roads, including Liberty Avenue below Stanwix Street. Find the full list of closures here

Port Authority of Allegheny County Spokesman Adam Brandolph said more than 50 bus routes will be detoured.