PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An estimated 300,000 people are gathering in downtown Pittsburgh this evening for Comcast Light Up Night.
The annual event takes a lot of preparation from not only the organizers, but also the city to make sure that it’s safe.
“Fifty-six years in the making, this is going to be the biggest and best Light Up Night that we’ve ever had,” Jeremy Waldrup, of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said.
There will be nine tree lightings throughout the day.
Fort Duquesne Boulevard from 6th to 9th Streets has been transformed into a pedestrian mall for what the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership calls the “Center of Energy.”
“Two stages,” says Waldrup. “Daya is headlining on the Sixth Street stage, the BNY Mellon Stage. The Comcast Stage will have O.A.R. Both of those are at 8:30 [p.m.], but the music starts at 6 p.m.”
Market Square will see a plethora of shoppers at the Holiday Market.
Meanwhile, the Santa Spectacular starts at 5 p.m. in Point State Park.
“For us, it’s really about being a part of the community and helping power the holidays,” NRG Energy’s Mike Starck said.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Santa Spectacular if the jolly guy wasn’t there.
“Every day until Christmas greeting all the young boys and girls and also the older boys and girls finding out exactly what they want for Christmas,” Santa said.
Along with holiday cheer, you’ll find tight security as well.
“We know where the hot areas are. We know where the areas are where the previous incidents have occurred and what you’ll see is a police presence beyond the presence of Pittsburgh Police. You’ll see a coordination with Pittsburgh Public School Police, the Port Authority Police, even the state police and making sure this event remains a safe and friendly event,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.
There will be plenty of fireworks, too. The finale kicks off at 9:38 p.m.
If you’re planning on attending tonight’s festivities, there is a special hashtag that you can use to take part in social media. It’s #LUN2016.