Release Date: Thursday, November 3rd 2016
PITTSBURGH DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION OF FESTIVITIES FOR COMCAST LIGHT UP NIGHT®
- Comcast is New Title Sponsor of Comcast Light Up Night®
- National Headliners O.A.R., Daya and Gloria Reuben to Perform
- Ft. Duquesne Blvd Becomes a Pedestrian Promenade Offering Prime Fireworks Viewing and Two Stages
- Energy Flow Art Installation Debuts on Rachel Carson Bridge
- Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ to Open on Comcast Light Up Night®
- Free Santa Hats, Virtual Reality Experiences, Live Reindeer, Free Carriage Rides Among the Attractions
Downtown Pittsburgh – This morning, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership announced plans for Comcast Light Up Night® that includes a jam-packed schedule of dynamic attractions for the official Holiday Season kick off in Downtown Pittsburgh. Scheduled for Friday, November 18, 2016 the festivities spotlight the City’s unique combination of traditional and contemporary holiday attractions, complemented by live musical performances on five stages and free activities all around Downtown. New for 2016 is the multi-year commitment title sponsorship of Light Up Night® by Comcast, the perfect innovative partner to help Comcast Light Up Night® evolve into an even more vibrant, interactive experience for all visitors. Downtown Pittsburgh is expected to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors on Comcast Light Up Night®, kicking off a season of events expected to generate an estimated $21 million in economic impact.
Among the biggest changes for this year’s event is a new footprint that will include transforming Ft. Duquesne Boulevard into a festive riverfront destination. New this year are two major stages, each with a national recording artist as headliner, which will bookend a pedestrian promenade nearly a quarter mile long with a myriad of food vendors and interactive attractions. The party builds all night to a spectacular conclusion as crowds flock to this location for the best viewing of the spectacular BNY Mellon fireworks finale. Ft. Duquesne Blvd. will also offer crowds the opportunity to see the much anticipated premiere of the Energy Flow Art Installation, an initiative of Mayor Peduto tied to the Pittsburgh Bicentennial celebration that will transform the Rachel Carson Bridge into a major public art installation.
“As one of the region’s largest employers and a technology company helping to fuel regional growth, Comcast is proud to extend its ongoing support of Pittsburgh as title sponsor of Light Up Night®,” said Christine Whitaker, Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Keystone Region. “This wonderful celebration long ago became an integral part of Pittsburgh’s holiday landscape, and Comcast looks forward to helping the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership continue its evolution.”
“We are really looking forward to Comcast Light Up Night® this year as it launches the most special time of the year in Downtown Pittsburgh,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “We are so pleased to welcome Comcast as title sponsor, as they will undoubtedly complement our traditional attractions with fresh and more diverse entertainment and activities.”
Among the key musical headliners for Comcast Light Up Night®:
- The Comcast Main Stage, at Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and Ninth Street, will be headlined by national recording artists O.A.R.
- The BNY Mellon New Music Stage, at Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street, will be headlined by Pittsburgh’s latest breakout pop star, Daya.
- The Northwest Bank Rockin’ Blues Stage at Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue, will be headlined by Steel Town rock icons including Joe Grushecky and Jeff Jimmerson and will also host the lighting of the much-loved Highmark Unity Tree.
- The EQT Jazzmasters Stage, at EQT Plaza on Liberty Ave, will be headlined by TV star and national recording artist Gloria Reuben.
- In addition, Comcast will offer free interactive attractions and entertainment as part of the evening’s festivities:
- At the XFINITY Experience Corner on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and Seventh Street, people can get a heart-pounding NASCAR virtual reality experience, take advantage of a charging station for cell phones and use a holiday photo backdrop to make their own electronic holiday cards.
- At various locations Downtown, Comcast’s Street Team will pass out thousands of free Santa hats (while supplies last).
- The Street Team will also capture images of the crowd enjoying the festivities that will be shared via social media and displayed on video screens in multiple locations. People can submit their own pictures or messages by posting images with the hashtag #LUN2016.
- Comcast’s WOW vehicle (WiFi on Wheels) will be parked on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and will offer WiFi access to nearby crowds
Other key highlights for Comcast Light Up Night® include:
Premiere of the Energy Flow Art Installation (Please see Energy Flow Press Release for complete details) Thanks to support from Covestro, Energy Flow will combine light and wind to create a temporary light display on the Rachel Carson Bridge over the Allegheny River. Debuting on Comcast Light Up Night® and running nightly throughout the Holiday Season, Energy Flow is a collaboration between environmental artist Andrea Polli and Ron Gdovic of WindStax, a Pittsburgh-based wind turbine manufacturer. The project was chosen after a national call for bridge lighting ideas and is commissioned for the 2016 Pittsburgh Bicentennial celebration. Energy Flow is presented by Covestro with logistical support from Duquesne Light Company and Allegheny County, and assistance from Riverlife and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Special thanks also goes to the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Committee.
New Downtown Lighting Debuts on Comcast Light Up Night®
Downtown Pittsburgh is going to be even more sparkling and bright with the addition of new holiday lighting throughout the Golden Triangle. The streets of Downtown from Grant Street to Fifth Avenue, Sixth Street and Penn Avenue will be beautifully lit with 4-foot-tall wreaths, wrapped with white LED lights, positioned on more than 60 street poles. This project came about at the request of Mayor Peduto to provide a more stunning and festively lit Downtown for the holiday season. Coordinated by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, this project was funded with a grant from Colcom Foundation with installation support from The Plant Lady and the City of Pittsburgh. In addition, the recently renovated Mellon Square will get into the holiday spirit with 14 LED lit trees along Oliver and Sixth Avenues. Supported by Duquesne Light, with assistance from Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, one of Downtown’s first public green-spaces will undoubtedly be even more brilliant this holiday season.
New Official Christmas Tree for Pittsburgh
This year, Pittsburgh's official Christmas Tree takes on a Bicentennial theme! The beautiful 50 foot live evergreen, the only live tree Downtown, will be decorated in Pittsburgh pride from head to toe! Visit City Hall to see the hundreds of silver and gold ornaments that will adorn the tree, including beautiful Pittsburgh Crest ornaments designed by Wendell August along with 90 distinct ornaments bearing the name of each of Pittsburgh's beloved neighborhoods, created by local technology firm HackPittsburgh. The tree is a celebration of many neighborhoods and traditions that make Pittsburgh such a special place and is supported by KeyBank.
BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale
Beginning at 9:38 don’t miss one of Pittsburgh’s most spectacular displays by the first family of pyrotechnics, Zambelli Fireworks, synchronized to a brand new, live holiday broadcast on Q92-9. Spectator viewing will be best on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard between Sixth and Ninth Streets,
Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ (please see Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ full press release)
The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ will open with an expanded diversity of special gifts and every half hour Market Square will be transformed by the musically synchronized BNY Mellon Season of Lights, which kicks off with Santa flipping the switch at 5:45 p.m. This dazzling light display will alternate with performance of holiday tunes by local acapella group the Chromatics Quartet.
Tree Lighting Ceremonies
A full slate of seven official tree lightings and ceremonies begins at 11:15 a.m. with the lighting of the tree at the City-County Building and concludes at 7:00 p.m. with the lighting of Highmark Unity Tree followed by rooftop fireworks. Additionally, many of Downtown’s signature buildings and businesses, including Fifth Avenue Place, One Oxford Centre and PPG Place, will host a packed Comcast Light Up Night® schedule of music and family activities.
As a helpful resource for the anticipated crowds, the PDP has a comprehensive website www.DowntownPittsburgh.com/Holiday that provides an overview of the events and activities occurring throughout Downtown Pittsburgh this holiday season including schedules and maps for Light Up Night®, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market™, Downtown shopping, cultural performances and special weekend activities. The PDP also produces a weekly Holiday Season e-newsletter to keep everyone current with the latest holiday updates. To receive this e-newsletter, visit http://www.downtownpittsburgh.com/subscribe.
Complete Schedule of Comcast Light Up Night Events:
Official Tree Lighting and Ceremonies
11:15 a.m. City-County Building Tree Lighting
11:30 a.m. Allegheny Courthouse Lighting
12:00 p.m. U.S. Steel Tower Dedication of the Crèche
5:30 p.m. PPG Plaza Tree Lighting
5:45 p.m. One Oxford Centre Tree Lighting
5:45 p.m. Santa Lights BNY Mellon Season of Lights in Market Square
7:00 p.m. Highmark Unity Tree Lighting with Rooftop Fireworks
Comcast Main Stage
Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and Ninth Street
The Comcast Main Stage brings even more star power to Comcast Light Up Night® with nearly 4 hours of Pittsburgh’s hottest bands, all being capped off with a performance by national act O.A.R. followed by a great view from this area of the BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale at 9:38 p.m.!
6:00 p.m. Jimbo and the Soupbones
7:00 p.m. Beauty Slap
8:30 p.m. O.A.R.
BNY Mellon New Music Stage
Ft. Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street
The BNY Mellon New Music Stage will be a platform for emerging talent and rising stars including Pittsburgh’s own latest breakout pop sensation, Daya! Don’t forget to check out the array of vendors selling food and tasty treats along Ft. Duquesne Boulevard.
6:00 p.m. Daily Grind
7:00 p.m. HEAF
8:00 p.m. Gabby Barrett
8:30 p.m. Daya
Northwest Bank Rockin’ Blue Stage
Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue
Join Pittsburgh’s most iconic musicians including Joe Grushecky – known for his collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Jimerson – loved by Pens fans, and the inimitable Miss Freddye for an evening filled with great blues and rock ‘n roll!
6:00 p.m. Jeff Jimerson
7:00 p.m. Lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree
7:30 p.m. Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers
8:30 p.m. Miss Freddye
EQT Jazzmasters Stage
EQT Plaza on Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh is home to an extremely talented scene of local jazz musicians. Once again, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has programmed an evening filled with extremely talented musicians, highlighted with a special performance by TV star and national recording artist Gloria Reuben.
6:00 p.m. Gloria Reuben
7:00 p.m. Duquesne University Jazz Ensemble featuring vocalist Natalie Tomaro
8:00 p.m. Dane Vannatter with the MCG Jazz Quintet featuring special guest Steve Rudolph
Holiday Market Stage at Market Square
Count down with Santa as he flips the giant switch to the dazzling BNY Mellon Season of Lights with more than 150,000 lights and a 35’ high sphere tree synchronized to favorite holiday music! The light show repeats every half hour alternating with holiday tunes by award winning barbershop singers Chromatic Quartet.
5:45 p.m. Santa Flips the Switch for the BNY Mellon Season of Lights. Show repeats every half hour.
Partner Activities and Events
Fifth Avenue Place
7:00 p.m. Highmark Unity Tree Lighting with Rooftop Fireworks, with Mr. McFeely and a countdown with children from Highmark Caring Center. At the Corner of Penn Avenue & Stanwix Street.
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Discover a shimmering display featuring Winter Wonderland ice sculptures! Create your own snowflake lantern with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh or get a commemorative airbrush tattoo, and enjoy holiday classics like you’ve never heard before with Pittsburgh’s majestic bagpiper, Nick Hudson.
Live Musical Performances
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Roger Barbour Jazz Quartet
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Max Leake Trio
One Oxford Centre
5:45 p.m. Annual Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival - Join One Oxford Centre for the official lighting of their 30-foot Christmas tree and welcome Santa Claus! Santa will be on hand to hear children’s holiday wishes.
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides - Take a ride around the block in a beautiful horse drawn carriage. Pick up will be on Fourth Avenue. (Last ride at 8:45 p.m.)
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Santa’s Reindeer and Free Activities - Santa’s faithful reindeer are ready to greet you in the outdoor plaza. Enjoy free indoor activities for children such as face painting, balloon art, sand art and caricatures.
5:30 – 9:00 p.m. The Rick Gallagher Trio - performing live holiday music.
The MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink is open until midnight on Light Up Night®.
4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Robert Morris University Island Sports Figure Skating - Kick off the holiday season with an on-ice interpretation of Polar Express.
5:00 – 5:45 p.m. East End Kids - This talented group kicks off the evening’s festivities with a dazzling performance.
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light/Plaza Tree Lighting - The Plaza will glow as more than 300 people carry hand-held Tribute of Light memorials, dedicated to someone touched by cancer. The ceremony culminates with the lighting of the breathtaking 65-foot Plaza Christmas tree. All proceeds benefit The American Cancer Society.
About the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is a dynamic, nonprofit organization comprised of business and community leaders, property owners, civic organizations, foundations and residents who provide energy, vision and advocacy for Downtown Pittsburgh. Working collaboratively with its partners, the PDP strives to create a positive Downtown experience for residents, workers and visitors alike. The PDP’s strategic initiatives include clean and safe services, transportation, and economic development and advocacy. For more information, visit www.DowntownPittsburgh.com, follow us on Twitter @downtownpitt and “like” us on Facebook.