Release Date: Thursday, November 5th 2015
PITTSBURGH DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP WELCOMES THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH MORE THAN 30 DAYS OF PROGRAMING ACROSS THE GOLDEN TR
55th Annual Light Up Night® Expands with More Live Music than Ever Before
Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ Returns for 30 Days beginning on Light Up Night®
Iconic Holiday Windows Return with New Windows Designed by Local Cultural Groups
Free Holly Trolley Rides on Saturdays and Sundays Including a Stop at the MetLife Kidsplay Zone Offering
Free Family Activities Every Holiday Weekend
Bonus Day of Free Parking, Free Activities and Free Carriage & Trolley Rides
for Black Friday, the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year
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, as well as the return of much-loved Holiday Windows. 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 55th Annual Light Up Night® that will include national acts, more live music than ever before and, the grand opening of the fourth 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, shopping and dining. We invite all our friends and neighbors to come Downtown and put the holiday back in their holiday shopping with a special combination of festive retail destinations and family friendly activities you can’t find anywhere else.”
Light Up Night® (please see Light Up Night® Press Release for complete schedule and details)
For the 55th year, Downtown Pittsburgh will herald the start of the Holiday Season with Light Up Night® on Friday, November 20, 2015. Light Up Night® will feature five stages of Live Entertainment across Downtown:
- BNY Mellon New Music Stage on the Clemente Bridge, headlined by national recording artist JoJo, local Pittsburgh up-and-comer, Daya, funky local favorites Beauty Slap, and pop rockers Nevada Color; also prime viewing for the BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale,
- Xfinity Country Music Stage on Smithfield Street at Fifth Ave is brand new to Light Up Night and will bring three full hours the region’s best-loved country acts including NOMaD, The Stickers and Cody Gibson. This stage will anchor one end of the Smithfield Street activity zone, which will feature live music, food trucks and activities all night,
- Northwest Bank Rockin’ Blues Stage at Smithfield Street – featuring iconic Pittsburgh rockers Joe Grushecky, Jeff Jimerson and Bill Toms will anchor the opposite end of the Smithfield Street activity zone,
- EQT Jazzmasters Stage at EQT Plaza – programmed by the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and celebrating Pittsburgh’s rich Jazz heritage, this stage will feature more than 30 musicians spanning three generations. Performances include Center of Life Jazz Band, The MCG All Stars with special guest vocalists Tania Grubbs and Dane Vannatter, as well as Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra Youth Ensemble,
- The Peoples Gas Holiday Market will open 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.
Light Up Night® will also feature eight different tree lighting 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 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 Clemente Bridge, one of Pittsburgh’s most spectacular displays from Zambelli Fireworks will be launched from the Andy Warhol Bridge and include the Light Up Night® signature Niagara Falls of fireworks.
Holiday Windows (please see Holiday Windows Press Release for complete details)
With the support of the Colcom Foundation and new owners of the former Macy’s building, Core Realty, there will be nine dazzling Holiday windows representing Pittsburgh traditions. Two of the windows have been donated by Macy’s and are original Pittsburgh themed windows. The other seven windows have been designed by local Pittsburgh cultural groups including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and Pittsburgh Ballet.
The windows will be unveiled on Light Up Night at 6:30 p.m. Mayor William Peduto will be joined by hometown hero, Meghan Klingenberg of the US Women’s National Soccer team to present the new displays. The windows will be on display throughout the Holiday Season and will be a stop on the free weekend Holly Trolley.
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 Light Up Night®, Friday, November 20 through Wednesday, 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 and including a new international toy vendor.
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.
MetLife 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 MetLife Holiday Kidsplay. This weekend series of free family activities, will occur Downtown from noon – 5:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from November 21 – December 20, plus a bonus day on Black Friday, November 27. 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 Holly Trolley.
MetLife Kidsplay activities & locations include:
Arcade Comedy Theater – 811 Liberty Avenue
- Improv Workshop: Get a belly full of laughs with a Kids’ holiday-themed fun and interactive improv workshop! Improv instructors will teach families silly warm-ups and easy games to play — and all you need to bring is your imagination. Each workshop lasts about 20 minutes.
- Penny Arcade crafts and games
Harris Theater – 809 Liberty Avenue
- Short films: Join Pittsburgh Filmmakers for a drop-in, anytime showing of family-friendly short films guaranteed to put you in the Holiday Spirit!
- Arts & Crafts: Drop in to create one-of-a-kind holiday items designed by Macaroni Kids.
- Reading Room with The Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and the EQT Bridge Theater Series
MetLife Kidsplay is in addition to the many free activities offered throughout Downtown every Saturday during the holiday season at PPG Place, Fifth Avenue Place and One Oxford Centre.
Free Saturday Parking, Downtown Holiday Shopping and Activities
This year, it’s Downtown Pittsburgh for the Holidays. The Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ will once again serve as the anchor for a new 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 Holly Trolley that circulates among Downtown’s holiday hot spots will offer service every Saturday, Sunday and a bonus day on Black Friday, ,including the Pittsburgh Crèche at the 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 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 Market Square, 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 28. More than 30 Downtown retailers will be offering specials and in-store events for this national initiative designed to support small retailers throughout the 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 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.