Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Throwing a Light on '13 First Night Pittsburgh Brings Downtown Alive with More Than 100 Events in 45 Venues

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Throwing a Light on '13 First Night Pittsburgh Brings Downtown Alive with More Than 100 Events in 45 Venues

Article excerpt

You can ring in the new year at home with Ryan Seacrest -- sadly, we lost Dick Clark this year -- or you can join the crowd at one of the city's most festive celebrations, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.

As Stefon would say on "Saturday Night Live," it has everything: Bollywood dancers, Japanese sword dancers, rockers, hip-hoppers, puppet paraders, treasure mappers, unicycling jugglers, human pinatas -- no, not really pinatas, but that's about all it doesn't have.

It begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a Dollar Bank Children's Fireworks Display and a performance by Adam Brock & The Soul Band on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue.

The evening concludes with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans jazz/R&B institution since 1977, and then the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place.

In between, the First Night Parade launches at 8 p.m and features grand marshals Curt Woottan and Chris Preksta of "Pittsburgh Dad," giant First Night Puppets, art cars, marching bands, a bicycle parade and members of the community. This year, the march features the element of light, as parade director Cheryl Capezzuti, for the first time, will be assisted by a lighting technician and choreographer for the puppets.

"The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is really putting a 'spotlight on the Cultural District' at this year's Highmark First Night Pittsburgh to usher in 2013," says Darcy Kucenic, director of First Night for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "This year's First Night Parade has a theme of 'light' and promises to be an amazing spectacle. The Trust has expanded two of the most popular events: Fire & Ice Plaza and the First Night Comedy Club. Fire & Ice Plaza, featuring Steel Town Fire and Ice Creations, will be even bigger and better than last year."

Among the 100-plus events and activities held in 45 venues, attractions include the First National Bank Family Tent featuring hands-on activities for all ages; Equitable Gas Marquee Performances with House of Soul at the Benedum Center, Equitable Gas Sing Off winner to open for House of Soul, and River City Brass at the Byham Theater; the annual Resolution Sculpture created this year by Dave Bernabo and Lindsey Clark and titled "Chance Resolution"; and WYEP Music Station Local Band of the Year, Broken Fences. …

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