Tag Archives: Light Up Night

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Happy Pittsburgh Light Up Night weekend!

If you know me IRL or have followed me anywhere on social media, you might know I like the holiday season a little bit.

I may or may not have a website dedicated to all things the holidays.

If you live in the Western Pennsylvania region, be sure to check out the site for all sorts of holiday events. This holiday calendar lists so many things. Here are some featured events.

This weekend is Pittsburgh Light Up Night.

Even if you’re not in the holiday spirit just yet, it’s never too early to scan events. December does go by very quickly. And if it’s not your thing, I bet someone you know (besides me, obv) would enjoy it!

Taylor Swift tix

Were you able to get Taylor Swift tickets? Somehow, I lucked into tickets. I am still pretty shocked. A friend organized a group, so I’ll actually be going to both Pittsburgh shows.

If you did not get tickets, Ticketmaster says you likely won’t.

John Aniston dies

John Aniston was a stalwart “Days of our Lives” cast member. The legendary actor died Nov. 11, his daughter, Jennifer Aniston, announced Monday.

Of course, we know him as Victor Kiriakis, a mafia leader with Greek and Italian ties who butted heads with Stefano DiMera and other villains in the fictitious town of Salem.

But few people know that Aniston’s ties to “Days of our Lives” actually began in 1970 when he portrayed Eric Richards.

Anyhow, here are a few things I’ve read this week:

  • Why Everything in Tech Seems to Be Collapsing at Once (The Atlantic)
  • CVS and Walgreens became fixtures of 21st century city life. Their time may be up. (Slate)
  • Gen Z announces itself in midterms with Democratic boost, historic wins (WaPo)
  • Trump called a protest. No one showed. Why GOP efforts to cry foul fizzled this time. (WaPo)

Pittsburgh Light Up Night returns in 2021

What’s become the traditional kickoff of the holiday season in Pittsburgh is set to return.

Pittsburgh Light Up Night is back in 2021 — just in time for the 60th anniversary of the city’s first Light Up Night.

After pausing the event in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership promises a “refresh” on the holiday celebration.

Though details were slim in the Sept. 16 announcement, organizers did announce one big change: Light Up Night is moving to Saturday — Nov. 20. Traditionally, the event has been held on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

The Holiday Market at Market Square will celebrate its 10th year in the city and will kick off Nov. 19.

Also new to Light Up Night this year is a new title sponsor: Highmark.

If you know anything about Downtown Pittsburgh and the holidays, you know that the iconic Horne’s tree that dazzles all season long at the corner of Penn and Stanwix streets is now home to Highmark.

“Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night is a tradition for our community. Our sponsorship of the event complements the lighting of the region’s most iconic and historic Christmas tree affixed to our building at the corner of Penn and Stanwix Streets,” Highmark Health Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Dan Onorato said in a statement released by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “We‘re excited that the move to Saturday will now make this signature event even more family-focused and welcoming to all.”

Did you know? Pittsburgh’s first Light Up Night was not tied to the holiday season. The city’s first “light up” event was held April 9, 1959, in honor of the Pirates.

It eventually moved to the holiday season. But Light Up Night took a nine-year hiatus beginning in 1973 in an effort to conserve energy.

Light Up Night returned in 1982 to help lift morale as the steel industry collapsed. Just a few years later, though, Gimbels — one of the last remaining Downtown department stores — would close.

Before COVID-19, Light Up Night, in recent years, recorded crowds of at least half a million people. In the ’90s, as the Downtown retail district began to implode, the event would see 25,000 to 50,000 people.

But something happened since then: The Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership has grown the event — along with the help of many other groups — which has attracted plenty more people to the city.

Gone are the days when Kaufmann’s would celebrate its grand window displays. (I wonder if any consideration has been given to pay homage to this tradition?)

Even once Kaufmann’s became Macy’s, the building would have festive events on nearly every floor.

And who can forget the Arcade Bakery thumbprint cookies with the iconic Kaufmann’s mile-high icing?

Gone are the days when people used Light Up Night and the holiday season to shop Downtown. Now, people shop online or at Target (guilty as charged).

Light Up Night has changed with the times to let Pittsburghers continue to usher in the holidays.