By Sebentile Dlamini
Point Park News Service
In its eighteenth year running, First Night Pittsburgh an alcohol free, family oriented a celebrated of the arts will begin at 6pm on the 31st December and end with New Year’s fireworks exhibition at midnight.
In the Pittsburgh Cultural District, there is expected to be more than one hundred events going on at the same time in forty five different venues along theaters, historic churches, building lobbies, outdoor plazas and indoor food courts.
Downtown is expected to be filled with different types of entertainment such as music, dance, comedy, mime demonstrations, storytelling, theater performances, visual art, films and much more. There will also be hands on activities for children and adults.
Beginning at 6pm, Dollar Bank’s Children will have a firework display. At the same time, there will be a performance by Adam Brock & the Soul Band at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue. At 8pm, the First Night Parade will begin and features marching bands, art cars, bicycle parades, light-themed parade, giant first night puppets and Grand Marshals Curt Woottan and Chris Preksta of “Pittsburgh Dad”. The Dirty Dozen Brass band will conclude the night with a performance on Highmark’s stage which will lead to the countdown into the year 2013. Attendees can proceed to Penn Avenue and view the big screen which will broadcast live surprises throughout the night. The big screen will enhance the ball-rising experience which will occur at midnight.
Essentially, the First Night is a free event; however buttons are needed to gain entry into the indoor venues. These buttons can be purchased for only $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Purchasing buttons at participating Giant Eagle stores gives a $1 discount with a Giant Eagle advantage card. Children five years old and younger are automatically admitted for free. The First Night Pittsburgh Buttons can be obtained from the Theater Square Box Office at 655 Penn Avenue.
The buttons admit families to all events, but on a first come, first served basis. It is encouraged for attendees to arrive early. First Night volunteers will be present throughout the event to let you know where performances will be and whether it has been filled to capacity. If that occurs, volunteers will direct attendees to the next best alternative. Pre-admission vouchers that reserve seats will be available starting on the 10th December all the way up to the 31st December or until capacity has been reached. However, beginning this year seat vouchers will be available online at FirstNightPgh.org and can conveniently be printed at home.
Seat reservations can be made by calling 412-456-6666 or by stopping at the box office at Theater Square. A VIP package called “First Night Friends” will also be available where seat vouchers can be purchased from December 4th-9th. Customers will get priority seating, access, parking and much more and can call 412-471-6086 or visit the website FirstNightPittsburgh.org.
Throughout the event, limited parking will be available at the Theater Square Garage and other Pittsburgh Parking Authority lots. Buses will also be available at the beginning and the conclusion of the event.