Release Date: Thursday, November 3rd 2016
PITTSBURGH DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP WELCOMES A BRILLIANT HOLIDAY SEASON FILLED WITH MORE THAN 30 DAYS OF PROGRAMMING
- 56th Annual Comcast Light Up Night® Expands with new title sponsor Comcast and more entertainment and activations than ever before
- Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ Returns for 30+ Days beginning on Comcast Light Up Night®
- Energy Flow Bridge Lighting Art Installation Debuts on Comcast Light Up Night®
- Free Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley Rides on Saturdays and Sundays Including a Stop at Holiday Kidsplay Offering
- Free Family Activities Every Holiday Weekend
- Bonus Day of Free Parking, Free Activities and Free Carriage & Trolley Rides on Black Friday, the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year
- More Holiday Lights to Brighten All of Downtown
Downtown Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) released details and schedules for the Holiday Season in Downtown Pittsburgh, which is offering an increased selection of festive family fun that includes iconic favorites and brand new activities. This multi-faceted initiative is designed to support the Golden Triangle business community by promoting Downtown’s unique combination of holiday activities and shopping.
“Downtown Pittsburgh once again will be the center of holiday events, beginning with the 56th Annual Comcast Light Up Night® that will include national acts, more live music than ever before and the grand opening of the fifth season of the Peoples Gas Holiday Market™.” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership “For an entire month the Golden Triangle will be alive with even more free family activities, entertainment, holiday lights, an art installation, shopping, and dining. Downtown Pittsburgh offers a special combination of festive retail destinations and family friendly activities you can’t find anywhere else.”
Comcast Light Up Night® (please see Comcast Light Up Night® Press Release for complete schedule and details)
For the 56th year, Downtown Pittsburgh will herald the start of the Holiday Season with Comcast Light Up Night® on Friday, November 18, 2016. New for 2106 is the multi-year commitment title sponsorship of Light Up Night® by Comcast, the perfect innovative partner for helping Comcast Light Up Night® evolve into an even more vibrant, interactive experience for all visitors.
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 remarkable conclusion as crowds flock to Ft. Duquesne Boulevard for the best viewing of the spectacular BNY Mellon fireworks finale. Ft. Duquesne Blvd.
Comcast Light Up Night® will feature multiple stages of live entertainment and activations across Downtown:
- 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
Comcast Light Up Night® will also feature seven different tree lightings and ceremonies across Downtown, beginning at 11:15 a.m. with the City-County Building Tree Lighting and concluding at 7:00 p.m. with the Highmark Unity Tree Lighting which will also feature rooftop fireworks.
There will also be many other events across Downtown on Comcast Light Up Night® including:
- One Oxford Centre – live music, Santa and his live reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides and free activities
- PPG Place – entertainment on and off the ice including the American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light
- Fifth Avenue Place – life-sized ice carvings, children’s activities, live music and the always-anticipated lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree including rooftop fireworks
- BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale – best viewed from the Ft. Duquesne Boulevard pedestrian promenade between Sixth and Ninth Streets, will feature a gorgeous display by world famous Zambelli International, all choreographed to a live broadcast of music from Q92.9 FM.
Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ (please see Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ Press Release for complete details)
The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ will return to Market Square and be open daily (except Thanksgiving) beginning on Comcast Light Up Night®, Friday, November 18 through Friday, December 23. The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™, a charming, European-style holiday market will feature more than 30 vendors of international, handcrafted and Pittsburgh-themed gifts and a stage filled with entertainment by local bands and performing arts groups. This year the Market will feature a greater diversity of merchandise from around the world including a new Italian vendor and food offered by täkō.
Once again, Santa will take up residence in his whimsical storybook home in Market Square where, for a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, children of all ages will have the opportunity for a complimentary photo with Santa
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.
Holiday Kidsplay features free, interactive, family-friendly activities every weekend
Downtown Pittsburgh will be even more fun and lively for families on weekends and Black Friday during the holiday season thanks to Holiday Kidsplay. This weekend series of free family activities, will occur Downtown from noon – 5:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from November 19 – December 18, plus a bonus day on Black Friday, November 25. Nearly all activities will be offered on a continuous basis so families can join the fun or depart at any time. Kidsplay entertainment will all take place on the 800 block of Liberty Avenue in the Cultural District, which is a convenient stop on the Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley.
Free Saturday Parking, Downtown Holiday Shopping and Activities
Once again, it’s Downtown Pittsburgh for the Holidays. The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ serves as the anchor for a marketing campaign that promotes the unique combination of Holiday attractions, activities and distinctive retail available only in Downtown Pittsburgh. Retail partners in the campaign include Fifth Avenue Place and Larrimor’s, and more than 120 independent and small retailers. The multi-media campaign will include special Black Friday messaging to encourage people to consider Downtown for a truly festive shopping alternative on the biggest shopping day of the year.
To support the marketing campaign, the free Fifth Avenue Place Holly Trolley that circulates among Downtown’s holiday hot spots will offer service every Saturday, Sunday and a bonus day on Black Friday, including a stop at the Pittsburgh Crèche at U.S. Steel Tower. Downtown visitors can hop on and off at all the shopping, family-fun and holiday sites around town.
Thanks to the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, free parking will be available in Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages on Black Friday in addition to Saturdays (beginning November 26) during the holiday season. Every Saturday and Black Friday, visitors can take the free horse drawn carriage rides at PPG Place and One Oxford Centre. On Black Friday there will be a bonus day of free horse drawn carriage and Holly Trolley rides to attractions across Downtown Pittsburgh including Holiday Kidsplay, The Crèche at the US Steel Tower, PPG Place, Fifth Avenue Place, and One Oxford Centre. Carriage rides are sponsored by Highwoods Properties and One Oxford Centre, while Holly Trolley rides are made possible by support from Fifth Avenue Place.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is also coordinating an effort among local merchants to support Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 26. Many Downtown retailers will be offering specials and in-store events for this national initiative designed to support small retailers throughout the holiday season.
A Brighter Downtown Throughout the Holiday Season
This year, 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 and with installation support from The Plant Lady and the City of Pittsburgh.
For 2016, 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 partners at Wendell August Forge.
Also, see if you can spot your favorite neighborhood! Created by local technology firm HackPittsburgh, 90 distinct ornaments bearing the name of each of Pittsburgh's beloved neighborhoods will also adorn the tree. The tree is a celebration of many of neighborhoods and traditions that make Pittsburgh such a special place and is supported by KeyBank.
In addition to the gorgeously lit streets of Downtown, 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.
Downtown Pittsburgh Holiday Website: www.DowntownPittsburgh.com/Holidays
The PDP maintains a website full of updated information about the events and activities occurring throughout Downtown Pittsburgh this holiday season. Visit the site for schedules, maps and much more about Comcast Light Up Night®, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market™, Kidsplay, Downtown shopping and special weekend activities.
The PDP also produces a weekly Holiday Season e-newsletter that will keep everyone informed about the exciting events, activities, cultural offerings and retailers in Downtown Pittsburgh. Sign-up to receive this e-newsletter by visiting http://www.downtownpittsburgh.com/subscribe.
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.