Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Countdown to Midnight First Night Pittsburgh Rings in the New Year with 150 Events Downtown

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Countdown to Midnight First Night Pittsburgh Rings in the New Year with 150 Events Downtown

Article excerpt

The words "Future of Pittsburgh ball" usually refer to some critical roster move by the Pirates or Steelers.

The "Future of Pittsburgh ball" tonight is the 1,000-pound sphere that will be raised 150 feet in the air above Penn Avenue Place and drop at the stroke of midnight timed with Zambelli fireworks.

Happy New Year, Pittsburgh!

The 21st annual Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is six-plus hours of festivities with 150 events in 50 venues throughout the Cultural District Downtown.

It will begin at the crack of 6 with children's fireworks on the Dollar Bank Stage and music by Beauty Slap, a local ensemble combining electronic music with five horns, guitar and a DJ.

For the main event, the city that packs stadiums every summer for country stars will be treated to Oklahoma product The Swon Brothers (Zach and Colton), who took a little shortcut to fame by breaking out as finalists last year on "The Voice." Prior to that, back in 2008, Colton made the Top 48 on "American Idol," so the Swons definitely wanted to bypass the usual Nashville grind. The group's self-titled major label debut was released in October, with the single "Pray for You," following their Top 15 debut single, "Later On."

Those braving the outdoors can gather on Penn Avenue at 8 p.m. for the FedEx Ground Parade, themed "Imagination: Delivered" and complete with giant puppets, art cars, marching bands, a bicycle parade and grand marshal and WQED producer Rick Sebak.

The kids can enjoy hands-on activities in the First National Bank Family Tent, where they can learn about circuitry with Assemble, post wishes and reflections on the The Children's Museum's "First Night Resolution Tree," make a wooden kazoo with the Carnegie Science Center and high-five the Pirate Parrot and Steely McBeam. …

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