Young and old are sure to love a trip to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for First Night. With tons of indoor and outdoor events book-ended by fireworks, Steel City will celebrate the slide from 2014 into 2015 with non-stop fun.
With so much to do, it’s important to plan ahead.For starters, if you’re planning on going, buy your buttons ahead of time for $8 instead of $10 at the door. Your buttons give you access to all the festivities, so you don’t want to forget that detail.
Got your buttons? Great! Now it’s time to check out the schedule of events from visual art to music and dance and even crafts workshops. There are 18 visual art exhibits, all of them open 6 p.m.-11 p.m. so leave time to check those out between attending shows.
Can’t decide what shows to attend? River City Brass really is “a blast.” Last year’s show included singing, dancing, silly costumes, and audience participation in a rendition of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. Their only show this year is at 7 p.m., so add that to your agenda first, and then consider the acts offering multiple showings throughout the night, like Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet or Arcade Comedy Theater. Want to squeeze in a third show? Consider any one of the 3 featured magicians, they all have 10 p.m. shows. Once you’ve decided which show to attend, you need to reserve seat vouchers. If they’re all gone for the show you really wanted to see, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of other stuff to do.
As you walk around the Cultural District, definitely stop by Steel Town Fire & Ice Creations in the Fire & Ice Plaza. Last year, half of the stage was devoted to fire dancing/eating while on the other half, an ice sculpture of a motorcycle was carved. With a chainsaw.
Curious about the year to come? Get a palm and angel card reading between 6:30 and 10:30 at Urban Pathways Charter School. But be warned, the line last year was very long.
If you have little ones that need to be in bed well before midnight, be sure to arrive on time for the opening children’s fireworks display at 6 p.m. so they don’t have to miss out on the pyrotechnics.
On top of all these shows and sights to see, there are also interactive activities for all ages. There’s giant jenga, chess, and checkers, a pinball lounge, and a kazoo making workshop hosted by Carnegie Science Center. Plus, don’t forget about face painting, caricatures, balloon animals, and meeting the local sports mascots.
Finally: Do you love ice skating? The Massmutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place will be open 11 a.m.-midnight.
As always with big events like this, it’s best to take public transportation into the city instead of giving yourself a headache trying to find parking. Wood Street, the “T” stop in the heart of the Cultural District will be bustling all night, so consider heading into the city early and be prepared for a crush at the end of the celebration.