PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Preparations are underway and the countdown is on for Pittsburgh’s Highmark First Night celebration.
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, two fireworks shows. 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.
Other highlights include the Fire & Ice Plaza at Penn Avenue and Ninth Street, KidsPlay in the Heinz Hall Courtyard and a new public art installation in the Cultural Trust’s Oasis Space on Seventh Street. The rest of the list can be found on Highmark First Night’s website.
Between 50,000 to 75,000 people will flock to downtown Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District and Pittsburgh Public Safety says they will be prepared.
In addition to a heavy law enforcement presence of plainclothes and uniformed officers, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich says technology will also be utilized to monitor the festivities.
Police will be using surveillance cameras, the Real-Time Crime Center and the ShotSpotter system.
The ShotSpotter system will be up and running, meaning if you fire celebratory gunfire into the air, police will show up in minutes. Hissrich says they respond to every report of gunfire they receive.
“There will be a strict enforcement on any celebratory shooting, firing of weapons, because what goes up has to come down, and usually, when it comes down, it makes a hole either in a structure, or God forbid, a human being, and we don’t want that,” Hissrich said last week.
With all the festivities come road closures. Those starting at 10 a.m. include Penn Avenue at Stanwix Street to Sixth Street and Stanwix Street from Liberty Avenue to Fort Duquesne Boulevard.
WATCH: Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020 Festivities Underway!
Most other closures start at noon and will run until 1 a.m. You can find a full list of those closures, including parking garage closings, online.
More than 30 bus routes will also be detoured, and Port Authority is asking riders to pay close attention to the new times listed, which can be found here.
Admission will be $10 per person and kids under 5 years old can get in for free. More information on admission can be found here.