Pittsburgh has long been an emerging cultural center in the region and First Night Pittsburgh is certainly a testament to this growing sentiment. The whole city comes with their bells and whistles for this one. From the early evening till midnight, a truly impressive collection of theatre, music, performances, street art and activities grips the tiny downtown. Few festivals can reach every demographic like First Night Pittsburgh. The schedule at is so full of variety and excitement that it is sure to be a grand experience for everyone from young families to old couples alike.
First Night Pittsburgh opens the festival with fireworks; after that the fun officially starts. In addition to the live entertainment there are multiple exhibits of street art and gallery art. A winter festival wouldn’t be complete without ice sculpting and interactive art exhibits are sure fun for everybody. Just before midnight, catch the parade that marches through downtown. At midnight, First Night rings in the New Year with even more and bigger fireworks.
For the children there are plenty of great activities including balloon art, face painting and great interactive crafts. Kids will enjoy making a funny New Years hats and building time capsules. Clowns and stilt walkers crowd streets and theatre lobbies. Exciting theatre shows include musicians, puppets jugglers and dancers, and comedians. Workshops teach kids dancing and allow them to play along with performers. Don’t miss your chance to meet the famous Pittsburgh mascots, Pirate Parrot and Steely McBeam.
Older kids and young adults will love the jam packed schedule of comedians and band musicians and street dancing. For the adults that need to get away, relax and enjoy beautiful musical ensembles. Be sure to catch one of the many ballets local theatres or one of the musical or dance theatre shows. Shows have an insane schedule of up to three back – to back – to back performances, so there are multiple chances to see one or even two performances.
Admission to the festival and shows is free. Some shows require free tickets for seating. Parking is limited and it is recommended visitors arrive early as there will be a lot of people. Festival sponsors remind visitors that First Night Pittsburgh is an alcohol-free event.