Pop Filter Hot Pick: Light Up Night transforms Downtown's Golden Triangle
Shine On: Whether it's a time honored family tradition in your house, or you're a recent transplant to the city looking to take in the local sights, there's no time like Light Up Night
to explore the vibrancy of Downtown Pittsburgh. This weekend, make Downtown your destination du jour, as you help a brilliant holiday affair mark its 51st year.
One of the largest holiday celebrations in the country, the 51st Duquesne Light Light Up Night®
continues last year's twice as nice two-day menu of merry-making.
Presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
, the weekend-long celebration provides significant economic impact and tourism for the city. In 2010 alone, the event drew more than 850,000 attendees and generated $21 million in economic impact, with revelers coming into Downtown from all over the city and region, as well as from West Virginia, Ohio, New York, and Maryland.
The one-of-a-kind weekend blends the traditional elements of Light Up Night’s past with fresh musical entertainment and hands-on holiday themed activities for all ages. For those craving good old fashioned holiday traditions, don't miss the dazzling displays, Santa Stage Show, live reindeer, photos with St. Nick, U.S. Steel Plaza Crèche, mascot skate, CLO Mini Stars, and of course the wow-factor lighting of the Unity Tree--a Pittsburgh tradition first introduced by Horne’s Department Store in 1953.
What's the hot ticket?
One of the hotspots for catching the best view of our illuminated city is atop the rockin' Roberto Clemente Bridge. When you're ready to warm up those fingers and toes with some movin' and shakin', head over to recently redesigned Market Square and the signature Bridge Bash, where Pittsburgh’s musical royalty will entertain crowds with everything from velvety smooth jazz and contemporary rock, to country rhythms and golden oldies. The weekend's impressive roster of featured performers includes Al Dowe, the Etta Cox Trio, Jeff Jimerson, Airborne, Borelli’s Dance Gallery, OMaD, Johnny Angel and The Halos, No Bad Juju, the Joe Negri Quartet, DoubleShot!, Vanessa Campagna, the Granati Brothers, and the Billy Price Band.
Holiday stress have you frazzled? Ready to star in an idyllic Currier and Ives postcard?
Wind down with a magical and memorable carriage ride through illuminated Downtown and then unwind to mellow music by local legends Al Dowe and Etta Cox Trio, who will fill the newly-renovated Market Square with their soothing jazz sounds.
Back this year is the 2nd annual horse-drawn carriage parade, featuring some 100 horses pulling more than two dozen holiday-decorated carriages through Downtown. The all-equine parade showcases horses of all sizes from majestic Clydesdales and adorable miniatures to mounted riders. Leading the grand line-up will be the famed Wells Fargo stagecoach. Special guest riders include your favorite furry friends from Sesame Street Live, Cookie Monster and Elmo. The parade steps off from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center at 6 p.m.
Where do we start?
Performances begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 in Market Square and on the Clemente Bridge. Getting into the swing of things, as regional high school and college marching bands bring their festive sounds to Downtown performing in the Highmark March, Stepping off at 6:15 p.m. near the U.S. Steel Plaza Crèche on Grant St., and ending at the Unity Tree at the corner of Penn Ave. and Stanwix St., the march features bands from New Castle High School (under the direction of Nick Yoho), Pittsburgh Allderdice High School (under the direction of Brian Lee) and St. Vincent College Band (under the direction of Father Jean-Luc Zadrogen).
It's not a Pittsburgh party without fireworks!
The magical evening concludes with the Pittsburgh Brewing Company 150th anniversary fireworks celebration launched from the Warhol Bridge at 9:38 p.m. Presented by one of the nation’s oldest breweries and choreographed by renowned Western PA-based Zambelli Internationale Fireworks Company, the fantastical pyrotechnics display will be synchronized to sounds of the season. Set to launch at 9:38 p.m. from the Warhol Bridge, the 22-minute theatrical production will feature dynamic special effects such as strobes, Roman candles, comets, rainbows, and Zambelli’s signature effect—only seen during Light Up Night—a Niagara Falls of white fireworks dramatically suspended from the bridge.
Popping up for the holidays
Additional events taking place in conjunction with Light Up Night are helping to animate and revision Downtown. A hard hat open house tour of the currently under construction Northshore connector--which will feature a tunnel from the Northshore station to Gateway Station and is set to open in March 2012--will be offered during Light up Night, giving Downtown commuters, residents and visitors a breathtaking glimpse of new glass enclosed spaces that boast views from below to the sky.
Don't miss the unveiling of Robot Repair
, a new interactive art installation by Toby Atticus Fraley. At 210 Sixth St., passersby will experience a scene that depicts what appears to be a fictional robot repair shop, where its owners have left for vacation, leaving behind robots in various stages of repair, including one peering through the store's windows longing to join life outside.
Blending 1950s-era and sci-fi aesthetics, Fraley's compelling tableaux appears to be set in a future world, where robot ownership is commonplace. Via interactive QR codes and a project website, smartphone and internet users will get a behind-the-scenes view of the creation process, while visitors who frequent the Downtown block will get to see the installation evolve over the course of one year. Fraley constructed the installation using vintage picnic coolers and thermoses, shoe lasts, yardsticks and various vintage materials that he combined with modern electronic components.
is one of 12 proposals selected from more than 90 applicants to the new Project Pop Up Pittsburgh grant program, and is one of seven projects launching during Light Up Night. The remaining projects will be open by New Year’s Eve, and expected to remain available to the public for one calendar year.
Download a complete schedule of Light Up Night events, as well as a map and a list of road and river closures
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