PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The holiday season is about to get underway in Pittsburgh.
Crews are putting in place final preparations downtown today in anticipation of this year’s 50th Anniversary Light Up Night Weekend Celebration.
The annual event – this year on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20 – kicks off the holiday shopping season in the city.
Officials say crews are putting up the tents and stages at the two main performance areas, Market Square and the Clemente Bridge, today.
Also, a 33-foot tall sphere tree in Market Square is undergoing synchronization tests. The tree, featuring 28,000 LED lights, is the centerpiece of a light show.
“This is a focal point because it’s brand new,” said Hollie Geitner, of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “It’s the newly-renovated Market Square and we’re very anxious to show it off, especially with this brand new ‘Season of Lights’ Market Square Display.”
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Santa Claus will be flipping the switch on that display around 6:30 p.m. Friday.
“These lights, [it is] 150,000 LEDs and it’s all from [the] company… who is responsible for lighting the Eiffel Tower and Cinderella’s Castle in DisneyWorld,” said Geitner. “So, these aren’t ordinary lights.”
In addition to the holiday light show, entertainers will be everywhere, including headliner Donnie Iris.
“We may throw in a couple of different tunes, Christmas tunes, but it will be the regular Donnie Iris and the Cruisers kind of a concert,” said Iris.
There will be horse-drawn carriages and a local couple will be married by Santa in Market Square on Saturday.
Also, what would a celebration in Pittsburgh be without fireworks? They launch on Friday at 9:38 p.m. from the Warhol Bridge.
Plus, Duquesne Light’s massive tree will be back at Point State Park, as well as the annual Santa Spectacular.
“We have the incredible Santa Spectacular show, which the park opens at six o’clock for all of the booths and all the activities,” said Mark Cheplowitz, the president of Wizard of AH’s. “Our stage show starts at 7:30 and we’re done by nine, so you need to get here early.”