PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Let the holiday season begin as downtown Pittsburgh tries a Saturday Light Up Night for the first time.
While the main event is tomorrow night, there will be plenty to do tonight.
LIGHT UP NIGHT: Full Schedule & Guide
Downtown Partnership President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup says you might want to start your evening tonight at the PPG Ice Rink where they have a brand new 60-foot tall tree with 100,000 lights programmed to the music.
“That will be lighting tonight at 5:30 p.m. and then you can enjoy the rink in that beautiful environment over there all night and all season long,” he says.
A half-block away the Holiday Market opens in Market Square.
“We’ll have makers from here in Pittsburgh as well as international artists and collections from around the world. So it’s a great way to find things that you’re not going to find anywhere else,” Waldrup says.
On the stage in Market Square, there will be Merry Karaoke!
“So, you can come down and listen to some of Pittsburgh’s finest karaoke revelers sing their hearts out for a $5,000 grand prize,” Waldrup says.
In the EQT Plaza, the 35 foot tall Pickle makes its debut and Waldrup says it, “will be lit up tonight in all its glory so you can come down and be the first of your friends to get that selfie.”
Light Up Night on Saturday brings all that and more including a series of tree lightings beginning with the City-County Building Tree on Grant Street with some rooftop fireworks at 5:00 p.m., and then an hour later at 6:00, Waldrup says you will want to make your way to Gateway Center.
“The Highmark Tree right on Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue will be lit with a little fireworks blast right as that tree lights,” Waldrup says.
That will be followed by an evening of Beatles Tribute music from 18 local rockers on the stage below the tree.
That is just one of five stages with a wide variety of music throughout downtown. Also, the Pittsburgh Symphony will be doing three free half-hour concerts at Heinz Hall. (Masks and proof of vaccination will be required at Heinz Hall.)
The evening culminates on Fort Duquesne Boulevard on the Allegheny Overlook stage, “with our headliner, American Authors just before the fireworks finale.”
WATCH: A Family-Friendly Weekend
Waldrup says Light Up Night in Pittsburgh is the most family-friendly event of the year in the city.
“Our friends at Highmark have created a whole block of family-friendly activities on Stanwix Street,” he explains.
While the kids will love the tree lightings Waldrup says, “We have some fun, engaging surprises for families too as they walk through downtown so you’ll be on the lookout for these special little nuggets of entertainment that we’re we’re not talking about you just have to come down and see it.”
The guy in the red suit will be around and the kids will love the Pickle that you just have to see.
If the little ones can make it to the fireworks at 9:30 Waldrup says, “this year the BNY and fireworks finale by Zambelli is the biggest and brightest and loudest fireworks display we’ve ever seen.”
Because of COVID many of the events normally held inside on Light Up Night are moving outside and mask-wearing is up to each family’s discretion.
Oh, and did we mention, it’s all free?
The only exception to that is parking.
On that topic be advised Pitt plays at Heinz Field Saturday afternoon so North Shore parking may be limited.