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Pop Filter Hot Pick: 'Tis the season for WYEP's (Ho Ho) Holiday Hootenanny & Pajama Jam

Photo courtesy of WYEP.
Photo courtesy of WYEP.
Why you should go: Here at Pop City's HQ, there's much more to the holiday season than wrapping, wreaths and recipes. If you've already scored tickets to WYEP's Holiday Hootenanny & Pajama Jam, then you can check one more thing off of your list, but act fast, because this local festive favorite is known to sell out.

Holiday traditions around the globe would not be the same without music, and the Hoot is one of the best places to celebrate local sounds, sweets and the spirit of giving. Back and bigger than ever with a new venue, expanded programming and a new partnership with a local charity, the Holiday Hootenanny & Pajama Jam is set to kick off the festive season on Thursday, December 12th at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's Northside.

Whether you grew up listening to holiday records by Johnny Mathis, The Beach Boys, Bing or The Venture, you’re not going to want to miss Thursday’s Hoot & Jam. Back for its fifth edition, the hip musical happening will transform the Northside's Stage AE into a rollicking sing-along.

Move over Radio City Rockettes, WYEP's Holiday Hootenanny is fast becoming an annual Burgh tradition. Equal parts local live revue, benefit concert and cozy holiday sing-along (with hundreds of your closest friends!), the event brings together local music luminaries, classic holiday tunes, the world's largest cookie table (we hope!) and pajamas for a cause.

Featured Pittsburgh musicians and bands include: Casey Hanner (Donora); Joy Ike; Brett Staggs (Long Time Darlings); Andre Costello; Josh Verbanets (Meeting of Important People); Natalie Hatcher; Morgan Stewart (Sleep Experiments); Cait Cuneo; Tamar Kamin (The Van Allen Belt); Billy Price; Chet Vincent and Molly Alphabet; Kathryn Heidemann; and The Wreckids. Pittsburgh group Neighbours will perform and serve as the event’s house band.

Also new this year, the Hootenanny teams up with a new WYEP effort, the Pajama Jam, to help raise funds for Jeremiah's Place, the area's first crisis nursery. A new nonprofit organization founded by two pediatricians who recognized a major need in our region, Jeremiah's Place serves as an advocate for the well-being of young children during times of family emergencies. The local organization provides safe and protective care for children, educates struggling families and connects them to established resources and also gives a voice to child abuse prevention.

"This year we wanted to move the focus more to WYEP as a whole – and give another non-profit some exposure. Jeremiah's Place was a perfect fit," says Suzanne Meyer with WYEP. "In partnering with Jeremiah's Place, we asked them what they needed – and they felt that the idea of providing kids with their own pair of pajamas would give them great comfort. We're also inviting guests to wear their favorite holiday PJs to the event."

To help support the mission of Jeremiah's Place, merrymarkers are invited to bring new, unused pajamas for children ages 0-6 to Stage AE, and in return, they will receive a WYEP Music Sampler CD. Hoot-goers are also encouraged to get comfy and wear their favorite pajamas to the event. Proceeds from Holiday Hootenannies past have benefitted the radio station's educational programming.

With a tasty new twist on the holiday theme, WYEP is also attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for Biggest Cookie Table, so be sure to stop by to sample the sweet offerings assembled by local bakeries and restaurants. The event also includes a cash bar.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $15. Purchase tickets.

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