By Meg Campbell
On Fri., Nov. 18, the City of Bridges will be transformed into the City of Lights at Comcast Light Up Night. This is Comcast’s inaugural year as the title sponsor, and the event promises to be bigger, brighter and better than ever.
Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, shared why he thinks Comcast is the perfect match: “Comcast is the perfect partner given their commitment to innovative technology and providing Pittsburgh with capacity to be a truly connected city in the 21st century.”
“Comcast is proud to support one of the region’s most beloved holiday traditions,” said Christine Whitaker, senior vice president for Comcast’s Keystone Region.
“Light Up Night exemplifies Pittsburgh’s sense of community and brings us all together in a way few events do. This is a natural partnership, as Pittsburgh is home to our regional headquarters and, like Comcast, is focused on innovation. We look forward to continuing the evolution of this wonderful event with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.”
— Downtown Pittsburgh (@DowntownPitt) November 4, 2016
What can you look forward to at this year’s Comcast Light Up Night? By our count, there are three tree lightings, eighteen musical performances, four stages, horse-drawn carriages and reindeer, one world-premiere of public art, and of course, fireworks.
With all of that excitement, it’s impossible to see everything, but we’ve poured over the schedule to create our can’t-miss list – and a few honorable mentions.
The Ultimate Guide to Comcast Light Up Night
4:45 p.m. | RMU Island Sports Figure Skating and East End Kids
Kick off your evening with two very special on-ice performances at PPG Place.
5:30 p.m. | American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light/Plaza Tree Lighting
It’s time for the first tree lighting. Join the American Cancer Society as they honor more than 300 lives touched by cancer in their Tribute of Light ceremony, culminating in the lighting of the 65-foot Plaza Christmas tree.
5:45 p.m. | Annual Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival
Here comes Santa Claus and the lighting of tree number two, the 30-foot Christmas tree at One Oxford Centre. Make sure to tell Santa what’s on your wish list.
6:00 p.m. | Jimbo and the Soupbones at the Comcast Main Stage
Since 2008, Jimbo and the Soupbones have been bringing their unique blend of blues, funk, soul and rock to stages throughout Pittsburgh.
7:00 p.m. | Beauty Slap at the Comcast Main Stage
What do you get when you combine brass, keys and keyboard? Beauty Slap describes it as electro-brass-thunder-funk. We describe it as the hottest sound in Pittsburgh.
8:00 p.m. | Gabby Barrett at the BNY Mellon New Music Stage
Pittsburgh songstress Gabby Barrett brings her award-winning sound to the stage. At 16 years old, this rising talent has performed in over 100 concerts and for audiences of more than 55,000.
8:30 p.m. | O.A.R. at the Comcast Main Stage
Jam-band legends O.A.R. are back and better than ever with their new album, XX.
9:30 p.m. | Comcast Light Up Night Zambelli Fireworks & Energy Flow
— Comcast Pittsburgh (@ComcastCmmtyPgh) November 3, 2016
It wouldn’t be a true Pittsburgh celebration without fireworks. Head over to Ft. Duquesne Blvd to watch the fireworks and get a great view of Energy Flow, a special lighting installation on the Rachel Carson Bridge.
Energy Flow will combine light and wind to create a one-of-a-kind, environmentally conscious display that will last throughout the holiday season.
All Night Long
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride through Comcast Light Up Night. Rides will leave from Fourth Avenue from 6 to 9 p.m.
Keep your eyes peeled for Comcast volunteers passing out thousands of Santa hats. It won’t be hard to spot them – they’ll be wearing light up jackets.
Honorable Mentions and More
People’s Gas Holiday Market
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at the People’s Gas Holiday Market. This annual tradition features local and global vendors throughout the holiday season.
Unity Tree Lighting with Rooftop Fireworks
For more than 60 years, the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Unity Tree has been a downtown holiday staple. At 7:00 p.m., this 100-foot tall tree will be lit on the corner of the Penn Avenue Place Building.
The VIP View
Want to celebrate Comcast Light Up Night in style? Purchase tickets to the VIP celebration, Blast! Blast! Guests will enjoy fine food, beverages and entertainment at The Pennsylvanian and have access to a VIP Fireworks Viewing Area on the Roof of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
How will you be spending Light Up Night? Let us know in the comments.