PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s the official Pittsburgh kick off to the holiday season! Thousands of people are expected in Downtown Pittsburgh Friday for Duquesne Light’s “Light Up Night.”
“Light Up Night” has become a downtown Christmas tradition for Pittsburghers. This year marks the 51st year for the event.
The festivities begin at noon on Friday with the Pittsburgh Crèche Dedication at U.S. Steel Tower Plaza. According to their website, the Pittsburgh Crèche is the world’s only authorized replica of the Crèche in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
At the City-County Building also at noon, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will light the City’s 56-foot holiday tree.
The ice skating rink over at PPG Place will host several event s from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., including the CLO Mini Stars, who will perform.
Over in Market Square and on the Clemente Bridge, the holiday-themed festivities will begin at 5 p.m.
At the Market Square stage, there will be performances from Al Dowe and the Etta Cox Trio, Jeff Jimerson and Airborne along with others. On the Clemente Bridge, NOMaD, Johnny Angel and The Halos and No Bad Juju will be the featured performers.
The sphere tree in Market Square will be lighted at 8:30 p.m.
From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at One Oxford Centre, the 30-foot Christmas tree will be lighted. Santa Claus will make an appearance, and there will also be free horse-drawn carriage rides, reindeer, children’s activities and more.
The Highmark March will begin at 6:15 p.m. with marching bands from New Castle, Pittsburgh Allderdice and Sharon high schools participating.
Concluding the festivities on Friday night is the Pittsburgh Brewing Company 150th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration, which will start at about 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from the Warhol Bridge.
On Saturday, Pittsburghers can meet and take pictures with mascots from noon to 2 p.m. at the 2nd Annual Mascot Skate at the rink at PPG Place.
The 2nd Annual Horse-Drawn Candlelight Carriage Parade will start at 6 p.m. with more than two dozen holiday carriages moving through downtown streets. Special guests will include the Cookie Monster and Elmo.