woman lifted above the crowds at New Year's Eve celebration, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

Ring in the New Year at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

Fri, Dec 27, 2019

Written by: Kayla Washko

The countdown to 2020 is on in the Cultural District! Join us on December 31 for our annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.

Start the evening with a bang

crowds watch the opening fireworks at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

 

Per tradition, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh will feature two Zambelli fireworks displays this year. After our Williams SING-OFF competition winner, Franklin Regional High School student Lavanya Anantharaman, opens the evening’s festivities at 6 p.m. with a performance on the Dollar Bank Stage (237 7th Street), the first fireworks display will light up the skies.

Explore wonderlands of light, ice, and, fire

woman dressed in coat, hat, and snow boots touching prism of colorful light installation Prismatica

 

Check out the brand new art installation at Trust Oasis (133 7th Street), Prismatica. This modern ice palace features giant, Instagram-worthy prisms that will fill the Cultural District with a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the evening. Conception and execution: RAW Design in collaboration with ATOMIC3. Production: Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montreal, Canada.

The popular Fire & Ice Plaza (Penn Avenue and 9th Street) returns again this year, featuring fire performances by Steel Town Fire and awe-inspiring ice creations carved before your very eyes throughout the evening.

Go on a comedy crawl

man laughing at a comedy event in Pittsburgh

 

Lots of laughs await for all ages in the Cultural District this New Year’s Eve. The kids will enjoy Arcade Comedy Theater’s Penny Arcade*, an improv comedy show designed specifically for children ages 4 - 11. Adults will want to come back for Player One* at Arcade Comedy Theater later that evening.

Stop in at the Harris Theater (809 Liberty Avenue) to meet up with knuckleheads Moe, Larry, and Curly for the Three Stooges Short Films Festival between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Then, head to the far end of the Cultural District for the New Year’s Eve Comedy Showcase* at the Byham Theater (101 6th Street), featuring a funny all-female lineup that includes Gab Bonesso, Brittany Alexis, and Franqi French.

Watch the parade

New Year's Eve parade featuring giant puppets at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

 

At 8 p.m., head to Penn Avenue between the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Stanwix Street to watch as parade participants, local marching bands, and giant puppets from Studio Capezzuti make their way through the Cultural District. The puppets were made at hands-on community workshops throughout the city in November and December, so if you participated, keep an eye out for your creation!

Dance into 2020

man and woman dance at an event in Pittsburgh's Cultural District

 

Whether you’re looking to learn some new moves or show off your fancy footwork, we’ve got you covered. Head to Highmark Stage (Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street) for Soul Line Dancing with Roland Ford, or waltz over to Arthur Murray Dance Center (136 6th Street) for a ballroom dance lesson. Kids can also let loose at the Kid City Dance Party that will be raging almost all-night long at EQT Plaza (Liberty Avenue and 7th Street).

If you’d rather leave the dancing to the professionals, don’t miss a jaw-dropping performance by Zuzu African Acrobats* at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (980 Liberty Avenue) or Attack Theatre’s Let’s Make a Dance* at Pittsburgh CAPA School (111 9th Street).

Try something totally different

sock puppet pig belting a karaoke tune

 

If your New Year’s resolution is to be more adventurous, we’ve got some activities to get your 2020 started off on the right foot. Head to the Trust Arts Education Center to make your own sock puppet performer and belt out your favorite tune at Puppet Karaoke, presented by BOOM Concepts. Experience magic as you’ve never seen it before with a performance from acclaimed professional magician and musical theater actor Robert Ramirez* at the O’Reilly Theater (621 Penn Avenue). Get bookish at the Young Adult Author Panel* featuring A.K. Small (Bright Burning Stars), Rachael Lippincott (Five Feet Apart), and Justin Reynolds (Opposite of Always) at Fifth Avenue Place (120 Fifth Avenue).

Share your dream at the Dream Wall Project

Dream Wall Project

 

Stop in at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (980 Liberty Avenue) to share a word, phrase, or drawing that expresses your dreams for our shared future. Lights will be added to each decorated panel, allowing our community’s dreams to burn bright as we ring in 2020.

Count down with the crowds

Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale fireworks at New Year's Eve celebration, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

 

Finally, head over to the Highmark Stage (Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street) at 10:45 p.m. to grab your spot among the crowds and watch R&B/pop trio The Shadowboxers in concert. Then it’s time to ring in the New Year! The evening will culminate in The Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale, where we’ll welcome 2020 with the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh ball atop Penn Avenue place and the second Zambelli Fireworks display of the evening.

Plan Your Evening

three kids bundled in coats stand to watch fireworks at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh on New Year's Eve

 

Access to all these events and more* starts by purchasing an admission button to Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020. We can’t wait to see you in the Cultural District!

Timeline of Featured Activities:

  • Williams SING-OFF Competition Winner - 6 p.m. at Dollar Bank Stage (237 7th Street)
  • Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks - 6 p.m. at Dollar Bank Stage (237 7th Street)
  • The Dream Wall Project - 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. at August Wilson African American Cultural Center (980 Liberty Avenue)
  • Prismatica - 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. at Trust Oasis (133 7th Street)
  • Ice Creations - shows at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Fire & Ice Plaza (Penn Avenue & 9th Street)
  • Steel Town Fire - shows at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Fire & Ice Plaza (Penn Avenue & 9th Street)
  • Three Stooges Short Films Festival - 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. at Harris Theater (809 Liberty Avenue)
  • Kid City Dance Party - 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. at EQT Plaza (Liberty Avenue & 7th Street)
  • Penny Arcade* - shows at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m at Arcade Comedy Theater (943 Liberty Avenue)
  • Zuzu African Acrobats* - 6:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. at August Wilson African American Cultural Center (980 Liberty Avenue)
  • Robert Ramirez* - 6:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. at O’Reilly Theater (621 Penn Avenue)
  • Young Adult Author Panel* - 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m, and 9 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Place (120 Fifth Avenue)
  • Attack Theatre* - 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Pittsburgh CAPA School (111 9th Street)
  • New Year’s Eve Comedy Showcase* - shows at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. at Byham Theater (101 6th Street)
  • Puppet Karaoke - 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 10 p.m. at Trust Arts Education Center (805 Liberty Avenue)
  • Soul Line Dancing with Roland Ford - 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. at Highmark Stage (Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street)
  • New Year’s Eve Parade - 8 p.m., Penn Avenue between David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Stanwix Street
  • Arthur Murray Dance Lessons - 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. at Arthur Murray Dance Center (136 6th Street)
  • Player One* - 8:45 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. at Arcade Comedy Theater (943 Liberty Avenue)
  • The Shadowboxers - 10:45 p.m. at Highmark Stage (Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street)
  • Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale - 11:55 p.m. at Highmark Stage (Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street)

*Please note that some performances require advance seat reservations, which became available on a first-come, first-served basis on December 3, 2019. For more events, head to TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH.

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Tags:
  • Highmark First Night Pittsburgh
  • festivals
  • New Year's Eve