By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Winners of this year’s sing-off competition set the tone, as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced activities for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, this New Year’s Eve.

“With this year’s theme, ‘Pittsburgh, the next two hundred years,’ this will leave First Nighters hopeful about the 200 years that lie ahead,” said Highmark spokesman Evan Frazier.

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More than a hundred events are scheduled. Cheryl Capezzuti’s towering puppets will have visitors craning their necks, and ice carver Rich Bubin will be back with his popular Fire and Ice show. But First Night director Sarah Aziz says there’ll be major changes in staging.

“We’ve relocated our main stage. It’s going to be facing Stanwix Street, this year. So we’ll have space for more people. We’ve added a third outdoor stage on Eighth Street. We’ve moved the food trucks over to that larger lot, so there will be more food trucks,” Aziz said.

She says this year’s show will also have an emphasis on comedy.

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“We’re working with the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival this year. So we’e going to have stand-up and improv. Four different improv groups this year,” she said.

First Night activities are free — almost. If you want to attend one of the indoor events, come on down to the Box Office in Theater Square in the Cultural District, or various Giant Eagles, and purchase a $10 badge. It gets you in everywhere.

With a hundred events to choose from in a span of six hours… plan carefully.

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