PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Christmas season is finally here, the year is winding down and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is putting the finishing touches on the annual First Night celebration.
First Night Pittsburgh is the “largest arts-focused and family-friendly New Year’s Eve party” in the Pittsburgh region.
WATCH: First Night News Conference —
The annual celebration to ring in the New Year will feature art, music, theater, dancing, magic, plenty of activities for the kids, food, and of course, fireworks.
The festivities are held across downtown Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District.
“The annual arts-focused New Year’s Eve parade begins at 10th Street, near the sinkhole, it will not be impacted by the sinkhole, don’t worry, at 8 p.m.,” Sarah Aziz, the director of Festival Management and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said. “The parade has a special theme this year, ‘Take Flight.'”
Other highlights include the Fire & Ice Plaza at Penn Avenue and 9th Street, KidsPlay in the Heinz Hall Courtyard and a new public art installation in the Cultural Trust’s Oasis Space on 7th Street.
There’s also “The Dream Wall Project” at the August Wilson Center, the Cultural Trust’s new game show “Game Time!” and two fireworks shows. The Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks will go off from 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the Dollar Bank Stage. The second is the big finale counting down to midnight.
The evening is an important celebration for families and as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald points out, “It’s also great for the Pittsburgh Economy. People come down and rent hotels, buy meals, spend some money and enjoy the vibrancy of what we have in the region.”
Zambelli fireworks will light up the skies over downtown Pittsburgh as the Future of Pittsburgh Ball raises to the top of the old Hornes building to welcome in 2020.
Security was very tight for Light Up Night and Fitzgerald says, “I’m sure there will be again.”
“You see the various law enforcement and you see Wendell Hissrich and his team working together and it traditionally has been and will be a very safe event.”
Cultural District President and CEO Kevin McMahon says the Cultural District prides itself on hosting a safe event.
Earlier this year he was critical of safety downtown after several incidents but said today, “I think all of our partners, the city, the police our social service agencies are doing a great job of helping to make sure this is a great, safe place to be. And yes I think we’ve seen a great response to the needs of our downtown.”
“Look we’re an urban center we’re going to have those kind of situations that every urban city in the world experiences but I think downtown is one of the greatest, safest cities in the country.”
For more information as well as a complete list of events, visit First Night Pittsburgh’s website here.
A First Night button will get you into all the events. They are $10, or can be purchased at Giant Eagle for $5 or can be obtained for $5 if you check out a book at a Carnegie Library.
To learn how to get your First Night Button, click here.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.