Nightlife: Ring in 2013 the Right Way

This New Year's Eve, consider heading downtown for First Night, especially if you haven’t attended the event since middle school.

Ring in 2013  (the Right Way) / December is a wholesome month. The holiday season is a time for family, gift-giving and decorative cookies. We light candles and bring out the good silver. We feast and sip eggnog, and flip through photo albums. It’s all very sweet. Then New Year’s Eve rolls around, and everyone goes crazy.

On that night, you can’t throw a snowball without hitting a New Year’s Eve party, so nightlife fans can expect some good times. If you want to do something not too traditional, consider the Gateway Clipper’s three different New Year’s Eve cruises. The river gets chilly on the top deck, but there’s no better view of the fireworks. (

For folks seeking downtown fun, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh is one of the city’s most magnificent annual art carnivals. The Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawls and street festivals are terrific showcases of local performers, but its First Night extravaganza offers more music, art and ice sculptures than you’ve seen all year. Brilliant performances play back-to-back in all the big theaters, all for the price of a commemorative button. You can even build your own body puppet, thanks to Studio Capezzuti, and march in the parade. If you haven’t attended a First Night since you were 14, consider this family-friendly, alcohol-free event. And remember: Most programs end early, so you still have time to stop by a party and find someone to smooch. (


Dirty Dozen Brass Band performance on the Highmark Stage at 10:45 pm followed by The Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place

WYEP Music Station at 121 7th Street featuring 2012 WYEP Local Band of the Year, Broken Fences

First Night Parade at 8:00 p.m. themed “Light” and featuring Grand Marshals Curt Woottan and Chris Preksta of Pittsburgh Dad, giant puppets, art cars, marching bands, and a bicycle parade

New attractions include: First Night Comedy Club sponsored by Ideal Integrations at the Trust’s Cabaret Theater, expanded Fire & Ice Plaza at 8th Street parking lot featuring Ice Creations and Steel Town Fire, Resolution Sculpture at 9th &  Penn parking lot entitled Chance Resolution by Dave Bernabo & Lindsey Clark, First Night Food Trucks on 8th Street, and an enormous Penn Avenue Big Screen full of surprises!

Adam Brock & The Soul Band on Dollar Bank Stage kicks off 6:00 pm

Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display

Equitable Gas Marquee Performances with House of Soul at the Benedum Center and the River City Brass at the Byham Theater. Equitable Gas Sing Off competition winner to open for House of Soul at the Benedum Center

First National Bank Family Tent with hands-on activities for kids and adults

Jack Reacher / Late last year, Tom Cruise kept popping up around town. In Bloomfield, he would take a table at a local eatery. Downtown, he would careen through the streets in a beat-up muscle car. In the Strip, Cruise fought off several bad guys simultaneously. For months, Pittsburghers caught snippets of One Shot, a movie about a tough-guy drifter and his quest for justice.

Now the movie’s called Jack Reacher, and it finally hits theaters Dec. 21. The eponymous character is an army veteran with a knack for solving mysteries. When a former sniper is accused of shooting random strangers in an urban crowd, Reacher must determine whether the caustic soldier is innocent … or guilty. The question draws Reacher into a shadowy underworld of lies, conspiracies and cold-blooded killers.

Fans of the Jack Reacher novels, written by Lee Child, have mixed feelings about director Christopher McQuarrie’s interpretation — but one thing’s certain: Pittsburgh sure looks great in an action movie. Tougher than The Last Three Days and grittier than The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Reacher promises all the brawls, gun battles and high-speed chases of a modern noir. And don’t worry about cutaways to distant cities or sound studios — every frame was shot in the Steel City.

Categories: Things To Do