PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of the biggest draws during the First Night Pittsburgh celebration is Fire and Ice Plaza, which was aglow Thursday night downtown for New Year’s Eve.

Flames were twirling among the amazing ice sculptures around the stage on Penn Avenue.

“We dance with different props – flaming swords and fans, fire breathing,” said Emay, of Steel Town Fire.

Crowds gathered to see Richard Bubin slice through ice, and once he and his crew left the stage, the fire dancers from Steel Town Fire took over.

Each dancer selects their own music and they were surprised to find a common theme this year.

“We really like to do a variety of different kinds of music and let that inspire what we do,” said Emay. “So this year almost has a love song theme to it, which is different than any other year that we’ve done.”

“The kids love the music and they’re amazed by the fire and the tricks that they do and that nobody gets hurt while they’re doing them. It’s very exciting,” said Stephanie Jablon, of Churchill.

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This is the sixth year for the show and it drew people young and old to see the spectacle. For the Jablon family of Churchill this event at First Night has become a tradition of sorts.

“It’s a wonderful family memory because they get their hoola hoops out and the pots and pans and pretend that they’re the people on stage,” said Jason Jablon. “So we get to see it twice as a family, but we haven’t got out any fire yet at our house. Next year we might do sparklers.”

Emay, who is one of the founders of Steel Town Fire, says many of the dancers have been performing for years. Bubin is actually a Guinness World Record holder for 61 sculptures carved in four hours, 22 minutes and 55 seconds, that was set back in January 2002.

Heather Abraham