Light Up Night Takes Over Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's annual intro to the holiday season grows (again).

Photo by John Altdorfer


In the pages of our November issue, we covered Light Up Night, by the numbers. On the eve of the big weekend, though, we’ll take a practical approach: As the annual festival continues to grow, what’s the best way to enjoy the festivities?
Well, if it’s the actual lights that get you in the holiday spirit, you’re in luck: This year, you can follow lighting ceremonies throughout the city, from Mayor Ravenstahl flipping the switch at the City-County Building (at noon) all the way to the unveiling of the Market Square Season of Lights at 7:15 p.m. In the mood for music? Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers play Market Square at 7:45 p.m.; the EQT Jazzmasters Stage, headlined by the Roger Humphries Quintet (at 8 p.m.), features performers from 5 p.m. until fireworks time; and the Trib Total Media Bridge Party has three acts on the Clemente Bridge, capped off with a performance by No Bad JuJu at 8 p.m. Also, this just in: Kool & The Gang will be stationed outside Macy’s at 6 p.m. to make a special appearance (and to help get the “celebration” started).

And speaking of the fireworks, they’ll blast off at 9:38 p.m. The Clemente Bridge is the natural vantage point, but this is no small display; you’ll be able to see the show from miles away. And don’t forget: The party rolls on to Saturday, with the annual Sounds of the Season parade at 5 p.m. and a full day of music in Market Square, headlined by Jeff Jimerson and Airborne at 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule — and you’ll honestly need one — check out the official Light Up Night website.

(Friday and Saturday, throughout downtown; free;


Pittsburgh still isn’t a normal stop for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, so local aficionados have usually found themselves at a fight-friendly watering hole (or shelling out the big bucks for an at-home pay-per-view order) when it came time for a marquee bout. Through a new partnership with Fathom Events, though, fans looking for somewhere to watch this weekend’s welterweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre and interim champ Carlos Condit have some giant screens to check out. Saturday’s card will get the big screen treatment at three local movie theaters: Cinemark Settler’s Ridge, Rave Cinemas Pittsburgh North 11 and the Cinemark Pittsburgh Mills. Leave the bar stool behind; see how the action looks when it’s larger than life.

(Saturday, 10 p.m.; prices vary by theater. Info, tickets:


On the stretch of Penn between Sixth and Seventh streets, you can find first-class stops for food, show and drinks without even crossing the street. Start with dinner at Meat & Potatoes or Bravo Franco; if you’re willing to walk an extra 15 feet or so, you can add Six Penn to your list of options. Take in a show at the O’Reilly — still Pittsburgh’s best-designed, most comfortable home for live theater — or a more casual evening’s entertainment at the Cabaret at Theater Square next door. End with drinks at the Backstage Bar, often accompanied by live jazz. And this month, you can anchor the trip around the Public Theater’s excellent production of Good People. Read this week’s edition of After Dark for a review!

In Theaters:
New movies coming to Pittsburgh this weekend include the acclaimed Lincoln, already a hit in limited release; this one has some serious Oscar buzz. And don't look now, but things are about to get a lot more adolescent at the multiplex: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 hits theaters to wrap up the teen vampire craze. PM Film Editor Sean Collier will appear on the 102.5 WDVE Morning Show Friday at 9:15 a.m. to review both Lincoln and Twilight; anyone betting on Kristen Stewart and company as Sean’s pick of the week should re-evaluate their choice. Tune in to 102.5-FM or to hear Sean’s reviews!
In such politically divided times, sometimes we need a refresher to remind us just how lucky we are. Join Global Solutions Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. tonight at Squirrel Hill’s Carnegie Library for Global Challenges & Local Impacts: Refugees In Pittsburgh, a free Q&A session with local experts about refugees and how they impact our region. Click here for registration and more information.
If you haven’t experienced the work of guest curator Mary-Lou Arscott and her collaborative artists, architects and activists — including 2012 40 Under 40 honoree Nina Barbuto — who worked on “Gestures: Intimate Friction,” good news: The exhibit, housed at the Mattress Factory’s Monterey Street annex gallery, has been extended through January 6, 2013. Don’t miss the show that “opens up the building and then reaches in.” Click here for more info.

Categories: Things To Do