New Year's Eve

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For the last two minutes of 2017, thousands of Pittsburghers will watch the glowing New Year’s Eve countdown ball at the top of Penn Avenue Place downtown.

The ball’s symbolic rise only lasts from 11:58 p.m. to midnight, but it takes about six weeks to prepare for the show.

daveynin / Flickr

  Friday marks America's State Parks' 20th annual First Day Hike, inviting park enthusiasts and first-timers alike to get up and get outdoors at a local state park.

“It’s a great opportunity to get people outside in the winter weather when I think a lot of people would prefer to stay inside,” said Lora Woodward, program director for Venture Outdoors. “Really, the winter time is an amazing experience to be able to see snow on the trees, or on the ground, or even frost and just be able to experience the outdoor landscape in a different way.”

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Drivers hitting the road this holiday season will be far from alone. 

The American Automobile Association estimates there will be a record-breaking 100.5 million Americans traveling this season.

Of those travelers, 91.3 million will be driving. That's  a 1.4 percent increase from last year. According to AAA, holiday travel has been trending upward for seven consecutive years.

Mark / Flickr

 

Roughly 40,000 people are expected to make their way downtown this year for Pittsburgh’s annual New Year’s celebration.

Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said the events offered at “First Night 2016” are going to be more diverse than ever.

“Our theme this year is ‘Around the World, Around the ‘Burgh’ and so we’re telling people that you can experience all kinds of art and culture from around the globe without ever leaving Pittsburgh,” McMahon said. “So that’s our big, new thing this year.”

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.”

Fear not, Pittsburgh: Josh and Rachel have your New Year's Eve all planned out in the final Social Club of 2014.

Tired of bar hopping and over deafening club music? The Social Club proposes an evening of exclusive Pittsburgh parties; including Round Corner Cantina’s No Mames Party, a Post-Apocalyptic 3014 Bash (yes, 3014) at The Cloak Room, and a Ball Drop Bash at Brillobox.

Classic options like Highmark First Night in Downtown Pittsburgh and the Gateway Clipper Cruise are discussed, as well as a kid-friendly daytime celebration Noon Year’s Eve at the Pittsburgh Zoo. 

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Dec 19, 2014
Anthony Quintano / Flickr

With the year coming to a close and holiday celebrations abounding, travel contributor Elaine Labalme stops by with suggestions to help you answer the musical question, "What are you doing New Year's Eve?"

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.