Light Up Night returns in 2021 for 60th anniversary | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Light Up Night returns in 2021 for 60th anniversary

click to enlarge Light Up Night fireworks - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE PITTSBURGH DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP
Photo: Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Light Up Night fireworks
On Sept. 16, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership announced the return of a decades-long local tradition. This year, Light Up Night, the annual kick-off to the city's holiday season, will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a new date, sponsor, and logo.

After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the 2021 program will be moved from the Friday before Thanksgiving to the next day, Sat., Nov. 20. The announcement also includes the release of the new Light Up Night logo that features Highmark, the new presenting sponsor.

A press release says the change in date is projected to minimize scheduling and traffic problems related to the popular celebration. After discussions with various City and Public safety offices, PDP believes the move will “reduce a myriad of operational challenges,” and will "virtually eliminate rush hour complications with street closures pushed to Friday evening to avoid vehicular and mass transit detours."


"The shift also makes accessing the celebration less challenging for people who live in surrounding communities, especially families," reads the release. "Parents will no longer need to schedule around school times and works hours to ensure they don’t miss the festivities. Drivers will no longer need to contend with weekday rush hours on major commuting arteries, and more parking will be readily available across Downtown."
click to enlarge New Light Up Night logo - COURTESY OF THE PITTSBURGH DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
New Light Up Night logo


Because of the Saturday switch, some commuters won’t be forced to leave town early to avoid street closures and traffic, so the PDP is launching a Friday night restaurant and retail promotion. This will coincide with the 10th anniversary of People’s Gas Holiday Market, as well as other Downtown holiday attractions.

Specific details about Light Up Night activities and attractions have not yet been released, but virtually all the buildings in Pittsburgh’s skyline will be illuminated as a part of the celebration, which includes tree lightings, live music, craft foods, shopping, music, and a fireworks finale.

PDP says outdoor programming like Light Up Night still offers "the safest and most responsible way for visitors to enjoy the holidays while still supporting Downtown businesses," especially those who have had challenges arise due to the ongoing pandemic.


More details about the Light Up Night attractions will be announced soon at downtownpittsburgh.com/holidays.

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