PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sure, you’re still nibbling on Halloween candy, but it’s almost time to focus on another holiday event that turns Downtown Pittsburgh into a sea of entertainment and activities… the 54th Annual Light Up Night.

It all kicks off Nov. 21, and it’s being billed as the biggest party on the biggest night of the year.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership ramped up for the big night at a news conference Wednesday at Fifth Avenue Place, with the President and CEO of the Partnership, Jeremy Waldrup, at the helm.

“Once you hear all that we have in store for you this season, you are going to be so excited to pullout out those Christmas ornaments, those beautiful holiday sweaters, and join us in the heart of Downtown for over 30 days of activities,” said Waldrup.

When more than 200,000 people gather in Downtown Pittsburgh, it’s a party, and everyone is invited to the official kickoff to the holiday season.

“They can expect a unique experience that they can’t find anywhere else in the region – from local entertainment, to great retail, the food and dining experience, all the cultural activities, really just a wonderful experience,” Waldrup said.

And, of course, there will be a fireworks finale.

This is more than just fun, it’s also a chance for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to give back with the help of Santa and the Holiday Market Place in Market Square.

“We are also expanding our hours at Santa’s House, raising what we hope to be is a lot of money to supply food for individuals in need through the community food bank,” said Waldrup.

Local merchants are also cashing in through an initiative called Small Business Saturday.

“The day after Black Friday, Nov. 29, we will bring together over 30 small businesses who will have in-store sales, the opportunity to enjoy food and to support what we call ‘mom and pop retailers’ that call Downtown home,” Waldrup said.

Jim Schuster, who owns Crystal River Gems at Fifth Avenue Place, is happy about that.

“It’s our chance to get a little piece of that pie, that Walmart, Kmart pie that the others get,” he said.

There are some changes this year; some events will be bigger and better.

In Market Square, the Holiday Market is expanding its hours and its merchandise to include Asian, African and Latin American.

“The market place is going to be fantastic this year,” said Waldrup. “We have vendors coming, not just from Europe, but from across the world.

Smithfield Street will be a tasty little spot. It is where eight food trucks will line up; and the Downtown Partnership heard from you that you wanted more family-friendly activities.

“We are going to have arcade comedy, we are partnering with Point Park University, the Macaroni Kids,” Waldrup added. “It’s going to be a special time to bring your kids out.”

And let’s not forget about the music, from country to rock to smooth jazz.

“We are really excited to have three huge headlining acts on three very different stages,” Waldrup said.

They acts include Cobra Starship, Joe Gruschecky with Eddie Manion of the E Street Band and Pittsburgh jazz favorite Sean Jones.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL THE EVENTS VISIT: http://www.downtownpittsburgh.com/holidays

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